Premier League • England

Arsenal explode into £85m transfer race for 69-goal attacker as Edu ‘makes contact’ for Liverpool target

Edu is plotting a busy summer of transfers at Arsenal

Edu is plotting a busy summer of transfers at Arsenal

Arsenal have reportedly thrust themselves right to the front of the queue in the growing stampede to sign Real Madrid attacker Rodrygo – and it seems Gunners sporting director Edu believes he has a leg up over Premier League rivals, including Liverpool and Manchester City.

The Brazilian star has proved one of Los Blancos’ best signings in recent years, earmarking himself as one of their most realiable performers and having contributed towards 90 goals (50 goals and 40 assists) in 206 games for Real Madrid. However, despite the 23-year-old being one of the first names on Carlo Ancelotti’s team sheet this season, there is a growing school of thought that suggests Rodrygo‘s future at the club is coming under serious threat.

Indeed, Real president Florentino Perez is about to embark on one of the most ambitious summers of new arrivals for several years, with three marquee signings seemingly in the works.

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And while their chances of a deal to bring in Bayern Munich full-back Alphonso Davies remains on ice, transfers for both Kylian Mbappe and Endrick are already thought to have been agreed.

The arrival of the latter two place Rodrygo’s in some peril and accommodating his vast galaxy of stars into his line-up next season will undoubtedly give Ancelotti quite the headache.

In order to ease that dilemma, however – and in an effort to claw back some of their summer expenditure – speculation of late has claimed the Spanish giants will look to cash in on one of their attackers, with Rodrygo seemingly seen as the star most likely to move on.

Arsenal lead race for Rodrygo deal after Edu makes his move

To that end, he’s been linked with a move to Liverpool this week; an ideal replacement for talismanic star Mo Salah if the Egyptian star takes up the offer of a lucrative move to Saudi Arabia.

There has also been speculation that Manchester City could also look to land the former Santos man with World Cup winner Julian Alvarez offered up in a possible swap deal.

However, according to the latest reports in Spain, the Premier League pair will be beaten to the punch by Arsenal, with ambitious sporting director Edu seemingly having already established contact over a deal.

Per the report, the Gunners chief has a big summer budget to strengthen Arsenal’s attack, with a new striker and a winger in his sights. And it’s reported he is prepared to pay up to €100m (£85m) to tempt Real to cash in on the player, offering a big wedge of that up front in order to help grease the wheels over a deal.

Furthermore, the Gunners already have a strong Brazilian connection in north London and it’s claimed the presence of the three Gabriels –  Magalhaes, Jesus and Martinelli – can help swing the deal in Arsenal’s favour.

Edu has given little away on his summer transfer plans but has admitted plans are already being put in place for another big foray into the market.

“Well, I understand what the fans are asking for but we already have our targets,” Edu said recently. “We have planned a lot ahead of what we’re going to face and I will be worried if we don’t score a lot of goals and if we’re not creating chances, which is the opposite because we are creating a lot and scoring a lot of goals.

“The plan is to try to get better every year and I think we are in a good moment. Let’s see if we can keep improving.”

Gunners ready to spend big

As well as a winger, Edu is also plotting the addition of a new centre forward, with Viktor Gyokeres reportedly right at the top of his wanted list, though he too comes with a significant €100m exit clause.

Realistically speaking, deals for both might be beyond Arsenal’s reach, especially as they are also likely to sign a new midfielder too.

The loss of Rodrygo would also not go down too well with Ancelotti, who is very much an admirer of the 23-year-old.

“He is a special striker, he can play in all positions. He is fast, smart and effective one on one. The learning is over. He is a Real Madrid player for all purposes,” the Italian said in 2022.

Rodrygo’s deal at the Bernabeu does not expire until summer 2028, having signed an extension in November. He operates across the frontline, though tends to prefer a right-sided role, or playing through the centre as a No 10.

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