Spanish striker ‘near the farewell’ with Arsenal heavily linked - report

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The latest reports in Portugal claim Benfica striker Rodrigo is nearing the exit, with Arsenal continuing to be linked with his signature.

On Sunday, Benfica striker Rodrigo scored both goals in his side’s 2-0 victory against Maritimo, and that brace made him the Portuguese club’s joint top-scorer on 10 goals.

His form continues to impress, with six goals in his last six league matches – so much so that yesterday I wrote a piece asking if Arsenal should attempt to buy him after all. This was after reports that the Gunners were considering a move for a player who has already reportedly turned down a €30million switch to Zenit St Petersburg.

But now newspaper O Jogo claims Rodrigo is “near the farewell” with Zenit, Arsenal and Valencia reportedly “leading the list of interested clubs”.

The same report also claims Benfica coach Jorge Jesus is experimenting with different formations in preparation for the possible departure of one of his strikers.

With Rodrigo said to “not be seduced by the possibility of playing in Russia” the story reemphasises earlier claims that he is holding out for what they call “a more advantageous offer” from either England or Spain.

It is unlikely Arsenal will match Zenit’s reported bid. But with a new goal-scorer high on Arsene Wenger’s list of priorities, the latest claim that the Spaniard is nearing the exit could well be a precursor to a new arrival at the Emirates, if they feel a player who is now outscoring Oscar Cardozo is worth a gamble.

image: © fdecomite

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