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Arsenal Transfer News: Latest Rumours on Santi Cazorla and Ricardo Rodriguez

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistFebruary 16, 2017

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 19: Santi Cazorla of Arsenal during the UEFA Champions League match between Arsenal FC and PFC Ludogorets Razgrad at Emirates Stadium on October 19, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Catherine Ivill - AMA/Getty Images)
Catherine Ivill - AMA/Getty Images

Fenerbahce reportedly want to move for Arsenal star Santi Cazorla during the summer, while Inter Milan are preparing an offer for Wolfsburg left-back and Gunners target Ricardo Rodriguez.

According to Turkish-Football.com's Emre Sarigul (h/t Daily Mirror's Liam Corless), Fenerbahce will try to land the midfielder at the end of this season. The Spaniard has a chequered injury history, but it doesn't seem to have put off the Super Lig club. 

ST ALBANS, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 18:  Santi Cazorla of Arsenal in action during an Arsenal training session on the eve of their UEFA Champions League Group A match against Ludogorets Razgrad at London Colney on October 18, 2016 in St Albans, England.  (Photo
Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

Cazorla's contract runs out at the end of the campaign, but it reportedly includes an option to extend for the Gunners, and there's some confusion over whether the clause has been triggered.

The 32-year-old has been sidelined since October, and in his absence, Arsenal have struggled to find creativity in midfield.

Howler Magazine's David Rudin doubts whether the Spain international will ever return to full health:

For years, Cazorla has been the engine in Arsenal's midfield, and he ranks as one of the club's top playmakers. The search for his replacement has been on for some time given his advanced age, and his injury struggles have only accelerated the process.

In his prime, Cazorla was one of the Premier League's most versatile midfielders, capable of splitting out wide or playing just behind the forwards if he had to. His passing and high intelligence on the pitch made him a nightmare to defend, and he also chipped in with plenty of goals.

As shared by Squawka Football, he's a member of a fairly exclusive club:

Squawka Football @Squawka

Only four Spanish players have scored a Premier League hat-trick: Fernando Torres 🇪🇸 Santi Cazorla 🇪🇸 Diego Costa 🇪🇸 Jordi Gomez 🇪🇸 https://t.co/glHhLutFWC

But as reported by BBC Sport, his Achilles injury suffered in October has taken a remarkably long time to heal, with surgery needed in December.

Manager Arsene Wenger will likely provide the veteran as much time as he needs to return and give him another run in the team before making a decision on his future. His complicated contract status will have to be resolved before the summer, and Fenerbahce will undoubtedly keep a close eye on the situation.

Meanwhile, Fabrizio Romano of Calciomercato.com reported Inter are unwilling to trigger Rodriguez's release clause and are instead preparing an offer of €15 million (£12.8 million) and bonuses for the Switzerland international.

MUNICH, GERMANY - DECEMBER 10: Ricardo Rodriguez of Wolfsburg looks on during the Bundesliga match between Bayern Muenchen and VfL Wolfsburg at Allianz Arena on December 10, 2016 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images)
TF-Images/Getty Images

Rodriguez has been linked with Chelsea and Arsenal, per the report, but recent speculation has mainly focused on Inter, who are backed by new Chinese owners and expected to spend big during the summer.

The full-back is widely regarded as one of the top players at his position in the world and a Bundesliga star.

Here's a look at some of his highlights:

The 2016-17 campaign hasn't been a good one for Rodriguez or Wolfsburg, however, opening the door for a departure. It also explains why Inter could open the bidding with a relatively small offer―Wolfsburg have little leverage as of right now.

Arsenal would benefit from adding a player like Rodriguez, who could lock down the left-back position for the immediate future, but Inter appear to be in the driver's seat right now.