Arsenal have been dealt a blow in their hunt to sign James Rodriguez, after the on-loan Bayern Munich star hinted at a return to the Spanish capital when his deal with the German side ends as reported by The Mirror.
The Independent had previously reported that the Gunners were hoping to sign the Colombian international on a loan deal in the January window, although a move failed to materialise.
Real Madrid were said to be hoping to offload the former Monaco man upon his return, potentially using him as a sweetener in a deal for Christian Eriksen, but Arsenal’s chances of landing him in the summer look to have been dented after Rodriguez’s latest comments.
The 27-year-old said: “In Madrid, I have everything such as my house and people who love me. We will have to see what happens, but at the moment I have a contract with Bayern Munich.
“I just want to finish the season and we’ll see what happens. I keep in touch with some Real Madrid players.”
Sounds like he’s pretty keen on returning, and staying, in Madrid.
This season, Bayern’s number 11 has featured in five different positions across midfield, highlighting his versatility and effectiveness in each area.
Rodriguez has made 18 appearances across all competitions for Niko Kovac’s side, scoring three goals and recording two assists from positions such as the centre attacking midfield area, left attacking midfield, central midfield, right midfield and left midfield.
To compare with a player whose future in north London looks uncertain in Mesut Ozil, the German almost exclusively plays in the centre attacking midfield position, as well as occasional ventures out onto the right.
If Rodriguez did arrive at the Emirates, Arsenal would instantly be handed a boost in terms of their squad depth, as they would be getting a player with excellent versatility and one who can cover more positions than Ozil – Rodriguez also works a lot harder.
Of course, it must be said that the Colombian playmaker hasn’t shown the form that made Los Blancos shell out £63m for his signature after the 2014 World Cup, but there is definitely a player of real pedigree in there somewhere.