£18m Real Madrid reject on Arsenal radar

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Football News

Arsenal are considering a big-money move for highly-rated Benfica striker Rodrigo, according to talkSPORT.

The 21-year-old Spaniard - a product of the Real Madrid youth academy - scored 15 goals in 37 appearances for the Portuguese club last season, also attracting interest from Inter Milan.

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger opted instead to reinforce his forward line by signing Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud for a combined fee of over £20million, but he'll continue to monitor Rodrigo's progress during the 2012/13 campaign, with a view to a potential move next summer.

Technically gifted, with a keen eye for goal, the talented youngster already has Premier League experience following a season-long loan stint with Bolton Wanderers in 2010.

Then only 19, Rodrigo managed just one goal in 17 outings for the Trotters, but his impact was such that manager Owen Coyle tried to lure him back to the Reebok Stadium the following year.

Having now established himself as a first-team regular with Benfica, the forward is a fans' favourite at Estadio da Luz, and will not be allowed to leave Portugal for less than £18million.

The fee may be a sticking point for Arsenal, as their typically frugal Frenchman, Wenger, prefers to ascertain value for money in the over-inflated transfer market. But, after spending close to £40million on new signings over the summer, it wouldn't be a surprise to see him step up his pursuit of Rodrigo.

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