Gunners want talented Benfica forward to aide title push…
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Arsenal face a tussle with Valencia and Zenit St. Petersburg to sign Benfica’s 22-year-old attacker Rodrigo, reports Portuguese publication O Jogo.
Benfica currently top Portugal’s Primeira Liga with 39 points from 16 games, and Rodrigo has been especially impressive when he’s been fit and available.
The young forward has scored eight goals in all competitions, including seven in his past seven starts. His recent form has in fact been so eye-catching, that Arsenal will have to battle Valencia and Zenit for his signature.
Valencia though do not have the financial clout to afford him this January, while reports in Portugal suggest the player isn’t keen on a move to Russia.
This would leave Arsenal as frontrunners for his signature, and the club are desperate for striker reinforcements to help their title challenge in the second half of the season.
Rodrigo has Premier League experience, having played for Bolton Wanderers during a loan spell in 2010/11, where he only scored one league goal in 17 appearances. He is now a much more rounded and mature player though, after Benfica signed him from Real Madrid back in 2010.
The Portuguese side are in financial difficulty themselves, and have already sold Nemanja Matic to Chelsea this January for a sizeable transfer fee.
Offloading Rodrigo as well would ease board concerns over the club’s financial future, although it would likely damage, and potentially derail their title push.
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