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Arsenal front-runners in race for James Rodriguez

James Rodriguez, Arsenal
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Arsenal have overtaken competition in the race for outgoing Real Madrid star James Rodriguez, multiple reports in Spain and England say.

Rodriguez has never managed to settle at the Santiago Bernabeu following a €70million arrival from Monaco in 2014.

His efforts to reignite a struggling career at Bayern Munich came a cropper as he returned to Madrid last summer only to make 14 appearances in all competitions this term.

Real Madrid will sever ties with the Colombian playmaker in the summer after another underwhelming season produced by former Porto man.

Desperate to take his client away from Madrid, super-agent Jorge Mendes has already pitched the idea of signing Rodriguez to several Premier League clubs.

Manchester United, Everton, and Wolverhampton have all taken an interest in the left-footed attacking midfielder, but Arsenal are reportedly ready to step up their pursuit of the 29-year-old.

As reported by the Spanish outlet AS, Mikel Arteta has grand plans to bring Arsenal back to the Premier League elite and feels Rodriguez is the right profile to help spark their revival.

With Mesut Ozil’s career hanging in the balance, Arteta is keen to recruit a high-profile playmaker.

Rodriguez appears to be ticking many of the boxes for a type of player the Spaniard is looking to hire to bolster his depleted squad.

The Colombian’s deal at Real Madrid will run out at the end of the 2020/21 campaign, and he’ll be available for a reasonable price this summer.

That’s particularly appealing to Arteta, who has to work with a tiny budget due to the financial fallout of the coronavirus crisis.