Arsenal given ‘free shot’ at Rodriguez after two clubs pull out of transfer race

Arsenal are the only club left fighting for James Rodriguez this summer after Napoli and Atletico Madrid pulled out of the race.

Real Madrid are keen to offload the Colombia international after failing to impress Zinedine Zidane this season.

It follows a two-year loan at Bayern Munich, where the Bavarians decided to pass on the chance to snap him up permanently.

Rodriguez has made just seven appearances in La Liga this campaign, though he has been ravaged by injuries.

Real are happy to let him go but only to a club that is willing to meet their demands.

It left Arsenal, Napoli and Atletico all battling it out for the former Monaco man's signature.

However, Marca report that the two latter clubs have pulled out of the race leaving the Gunners as the only viable destination.

That is if the north London outfit play ball with Real chief Florentino Perez.

Napoli were the first side to pull out after falling out with the Bernabeu supremo.

The Serie A outfit tried to negotiate a loan deal with an option to buy but Los Blancos rejected, wanting a permanent transfer instead.

It started a bickering row between the two club's chiefs Aurelio De Laurentiis and Perez, Marca report.

Atletico had their attempts to sign him cut off by Real after the embarrassing 7-3 defeat in pre-season.

Perez did not want to strengthen the club's Madrid rivals any further amid fears they could outdo them in the league.

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He also did not want to risk incurring the wrath of the fans.

However, they did do a deal over Marcos Llorente last summer – who helped knock Liverpool out of the Champions League before the coronavirus crisis decimated the football calendar.

It has all led to Arsenal becoming the last club looking to snap up Rodriguez.

But Marca go on to state that England is not a preferred destination for the Colombian.

The 28-year-old is keen on either remaining in Spain or moving to Italy to continue his football.

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