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Former Liverpool defender Steve Nicol has called on Arsenal to sign Real Madrid midfielder James Rodriguez and use him alongside Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez in a three-pronged attack next season. Rodriguez, believed to be on Chelsea and Manchester United’s radar, has fallen out of favour under Zinedine Zidane and is set to leave the Santiago Bernabeu this summer.
Arsenal reportedly had an offer for Rodriguez rejected by Real Madrid earlier this month, with the Champions League winners waiting for an offer that matches their £69.8m valuation. The Colombian international joined the Spanish giants for a similar fee from Monaco in the summer of 2014 but has since fallen behind the likes of Isco and Marco Asensio in the Real Madrid pecking order.
Chelsea are now believed to be the frontrunners to sign Rodriguez, but Nicol thinks the Gunners should prioritise the signing of the former Porto playmaker even though they already have a number of attackers on their books.
“They [Arsenal] don’t need a playmaker but would he make them better?” Nicol told ESPN, relayed by The Express. “If he’s got [Alexis] Sanchez up front, somebody like [James] Rodriguez is going to be able play with Sanchez, and create stuff.
“If Arsenal get rid of Sanchez and sign Rodriguez, who’s he going to play with? [Olivier] Giroud? Why can’t you have James, [Mesut] Ozil and Sanchez as your three-pronged attack and fill in behind it and keep it strong?
“We’ve been talking about trying to solidify the middle of the park, why not just go and do that Three superstars up front, on you go.”
Rodriguez may find himself plying his trade in the Premier League next season, with Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United all more than capable of putting together a financial package that would satisfy both him and Real Madrid, but his teammate Alvaro Morata’s potential move to England is now looking uncertain.
Manchester United seemed close to completing a deal to bring the Spain international to Old Trafford, but Real Madrid are believed to be holding out for a fee of £78m for a player who only started 14 La Liga games for them last season.