Arsenal are frontrunners to land €30m-rated Benfica striker Rodrigo, Valencia & Zenit in the race [O Jogo]


The top story on Portuguese outlet O Jogo’s website on Tuesday morning is a hyped-up article on Benfica striker Rodrigo.

According to the Portuguese reports, Rodrigo, who is rated at around €30m by Benfica, is currently the focus of a 3-way battle between Arsenal, Valencia and Zenit St Petersburg.

22-year-old Rodrigo, the ex-Bolton loanee and former Real Madrid youth player, signed an original five-year contract with Benfica for approximately €6 million back in 2010. That deal has since been renewed, and Rodrigo is committed to the club until 2019.

Yet despite that paperwork, Benfica are now eager to cash in on their attacking star having dropped out of the Champions League. Benfica, who are in financial difficulties, seem to be on a money-raising exercise following the sale of Nemanja Matic to Chelsea.

O Jogo report that Zenit have bid €30m for the forward, but Rodrigo doesn’t want to go to Russia. Elsewhere, while Valencia are also interested, but the Spaniards are also said to be cash-strapped this January. That, therefore, leaves the Gunners.

With Arsenal on the prowl for a new striker to boost their title hopes, Rodrigo could be a great asset to their cause. Wenger, however, is unlikely to spend anything close to €30m for the striker, any the deal seems contingent on the transfer fee coming down drastically.

Rodrigo have seven goals in 14 league matches for Benfica.