As reported last week, Gunners boss Arsene Wenger is keen to bring the 23-year-old to the Emirates where he would join up with the club’s first signing of the summer in Xhaka and now Ricardo Rodriguez is next.
The full back signed a new contract in January of last year that contractually ties him to Wolfsburg until 2019; however, it is believed the contract contains a buyout clause – around the £20 million mark – that Arsenal seem willing to activate.
German side Wolfsburg missed out on qualification for European football following a disappointing eighth-place finish in the Bundesliga last season, and the Premier League side would at least be able to offer the defender Champions League football in the coming term.
Rodriguez in action for Switzerland recently.
Arsenal have already acquired one Swiss international this summer in bringing Xhaka in from Gladbach, and Rodriguez has hinted heavily that he would be eager to join up with his compatriot. Asked by Swiss newspaper Tagesanzeiger if he would like to join Xhaka, whom he shares a room with in the Swiss national team, Rodriguez said:
“That would be exciting, yes, especially because the room arrangement at Arsenal would be fixed as well.”
Rodriguez has established himself as one of Europe’s top full backs with his attacking instincts matched with extremely competent defensive displays. Given his age, he could be the Arsenal left back for the best part of the next decade so Wenger – known for his fiscal frugality – may be content to pay the release clause fee.
Nacho Monreal, Arsenal’s current first choice left back, was one of the side’s most consistent players throughout 2015/16; however, the Spaniard is a much more defensive-minded full back. And while left back is not a key area needing addressing this summer, Wenger could also make the signing to avoid Rodriguez signing for a direct rival. It’s also believed Wenger would like to build a team with two full backs that both enjoy going forward and offer width, which would certainly suit Rodriguez’s style of play.