Arsenal Transfer News: Ricardo Rodriguez Talk Denied by Agent, Latest Rumours

James Dudko@@JamesDudkoFeatured ColumnistNovember 29, 2016

BASEL, SWITZERLAND - JULY 19: Ricardo Rodriguez of VfL Wolfsburg during the friendly match between FC Basel and VfL Wolfsburg at St. Jakob-Park on July 19, 2016 in Basel, Switzerland. (Photo by Alexander Scheuber/Getty Images)
Alexander Scheuber/Getty Images

Arsenal target Ricardo Rodriguez is not trying to leave Bundesliga club Wolfsburg, according to his agent. Rodriguez has reportedly attracted interest from the Gunners and a host of other clubs, including Serie A trio AC Milan, Inter Milan and Napoli.

However, the player's agent, Gianluca Di Domenico, told Swiss publication Blick (h/t CalcioMercato.com) that Rodriguez is content in the German top flight: "Ricardo is usually [the] object of transfer speculations, but it’s time to put an end to these stories. Ricardo is only focused on Wolfsburg."

The same report also described 24-year-old Switzerland international Rodriguez as a "longtime transfer target of Arsenal." Rodriguez is said to be seen as a potential replacement for veteran Spaniard Nacho Monreal.

Indeed, the Gunners were heavily linked with Rodriguez during the summer. Arsenal were credited with strong interest back in May, according to German source Kicker (h/t Metro's Mark Brus).

In June, Wolfsburg sporting director Klaus Allofs made clear to Kicker (h/t James Whaling of the Daily Mirror) that interested parties, including the Gunners, had to meet the release fee to sign Rodriguez.

The Swiss international makes sense as a ongoing target considering some of the question marks Arsenal have at left-back.

Monreal has actually been one of the more dependable players in the squad. He helped solidify a suspect position after signing in 2013.

Rodriguez is reportedly seen as an upgrade on Arsenal's current options at left-back.
Rodriguez is reportedly seen as an upgrade on Arsenal's current options at left-back.CARL COURT/Getty Images

However, the former Malaga man is now 30. He's also frequently been linked with a move to La Liga side Athletic Bilbao. Back in November, Monreal even hinted a move to Bilbao could happen one day, per Radio Euskadi (h/t James Cambridge of the Daily Express).

There are more question marks about Monreal's backup, Kieran Gibbs. The 27-year-old spent most of the summer tipped to leave Arsenal in search of more playing time.

In April, the Daily Telegraph's Jeremy Wilson indicated Gibbs might leave. The Sun's Mike McGrath reported the same in September. Gibbs has featured only sparingly this season, making just 10 appearances in all competitions, according to WhoScored.com.

Rodriguez would give Arsenal a younger, quicker option than Monreal at left-back as well as a player more reliable than Gibbs. He's terrific going forward, boasting pace, energy, strength and impressive technique in possession.

Rodriguez also combines well with Gunners midfielder Granit Xhaka at the international level.

Rodriguez and Arsenal man Xhaka work well together internationally.
Rodriguez and Arsenal man Xhaka work well together internationally.FRANCK FIFE/Getty Images

He is a player worth pursuing as the type of raiding and intelligent full-back Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger loves for his free-flowing and expansive style of football.