Wolfsburg have admitted star left-back and reported Arsenal transfer target Ricardo Rodriguez is lobbying for a move away from the club, while Gunners youngster Calum Chambers is said to be closing in on a loan move to Watford.
Speaking to Blick (h/t International Business Times' Tony Mogan), Wolfsburg sporting director Klaus Allofs confirmed Rodriguez has his eyes set on a move, saying: "As we have recently talked it was clear; his idea is to leave us."
Per the report, the Switzerland international has already talked about the possibility of joining compatriot Granit Xhaka in north London. Xhaka only just moved from the Bundesliga to the Gunners.
Bleacher Report's James McNicholas would love for Arsenal to move for Rodriguez, while noting his contract contains a release clause of just £19 million, which can be activated before the end of June:
The suspicion is that Wenger would like to build a team with two full-backs who both love to go forward and offer width, especially given that the Gunners tend to play without conventional wingers driving to the byline. That would certainly suit Rodriguez: He tends to adopt a relatively high starting position, charging upfield whenever possible to add to Wolfsburg’s attacking threat.
Nacho Monreal is Arsenal's current choice left-back and is known as a solid, defence-minded full-back who offsets Hector Bellerin's tendency to push up the pitch on the other flank. Kieran Gibbs is the main backup and another attacking option.
Rodriguez is mainly known as an attacking force as well, but he's also a capable defender and widely considered among the best young left-backs in the world. Here's a look at some of his highlights:
He's still just 23 years old but would easily rank among the Premier League's best left-backs from the moment he joined, and his long-term potential is sky-high. With Monreal still playing at a relatively high level, he could be eased into his role and should have plenty of time to adapt to his new surroundings and teammates.
A move seems very likely, but Arsenal won't be the only suitors. It would be wise to trigger his clause in a timely fashion, ensuring other clubs don't nudge ahead of the Gunners in the race for his signature.
His arrival would add some extra depth to the squad, making a loan move for Chambers even more likely. According to MailOnline's Matt Barlow, the former Southampton man is close to joining Watford on loan, with the Saints also keeping an eye on the situation.
Chambers' Arsenal career hasn't played out the way he would have hoped after joining the club two years ago in a deal worth £16 million. He impressed early, but the 20-year-old's role has steadily declined in the last 18 months, and he's in dire need of consistent playing time to continue his development.
Speaking to the Press Association (via the Daily Mirror's Simon Peach), the England Under-21 international admitted he “just want[s] to play games” after the Three Lions' triumph at the Toulon Tournament, and Gunners manager Arsene Wenger likely has the same idea.
Chambers remains a top talent with tremendous upside, and it's only natural for him to struggle at the highest level given his age. A loan move could be exactly what he needs, and if the team's depth doesn't suffer as a result, it's an option the Gunners should pursue.