James Rodriguez Colombia
James Rodriguez has been reportedly told he may leave, by Real Madrid manager Zinedine ZidaneReuters

As Arsenal's search for a forward and a defender continues, the links to the club show no signs of stopping, with the latest one being James Rodriguez of Real Madrid.

While Arsene Wenger would prefer to sign a proper centre-forward, someone with pace, capable of offering something different to Olivier Giroud, the Frenchman might have to settle on a wide forward, or even a second striker.

Rodriguez is certainly not a central striker, but he can play off the big man or come in off wide positions quite well, and after Marca reported that Real Madrid are looking to offload the Colombia international, the links to Arsenal, and Chelsea, were inevitable.

According to the Madrid-based newspaper, Zinedine Zidane has told Rodriguez and his agent Jorge Mendes to look for another club, with the Real manager not keen on including the former Monaco man in his plans for this season.

Rodriguez was very much a fringe player last season, with both Rafa Benitez and Zidane preferring others, while the forward's attitude was also brought into question.

However, chances of a summer exit seemed to end when James insisted he wants to stay at Real Madrid and fight for a place, but Marca claim his time at the Bernabeu could be at an end, particularly after Real Madrid decided to keep Marco Asensio, the exciting attacker, at the club for the new season.

Marca does not name any interested clubs in their report, but both Arsenal and Chelsea have been linked with Rodriguez, with the Blues reportedly leading the chase at the moment.

However, with Arsenal desperate for a marquee signing this summer, to not just appease the fans but also lift the squad, Wenger might consider making a late move for Rodriguez, provided the price is right, of course.

If Rodriguez is actually needed in this Arsenal squad is another matter, however, considering the strength in depth in the wide and attacking midfielder positions. Rodriguez, though, is world class, or at least has the potential to be one of the very best in the world, and if a deal is there to be made, it makes sense for Wenger to make it.

The price, however, could be prohibitive, with Real Madrid looking to make back the entire €75 million (£65m) they paid Monaco for the 25-year-old's services two years ago, which, again, provided they are interested, makes Chelsea the favourites.

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