Guido Rodriguez is back on the radar of Premier League clubs as he continues to prove himself with Real Betis, according to reports in Spain.
Rodriguez was linked with Arsenal over the summer as they looked for midfield reinforcements. There were also rumours of interest from Liverpool. In the end, the 27-year-old remained with Betis.
He has played for the Seville-based side since they brought him to Europe in January 2020. The transition was a simple one for the Argentine ace and he has been linked with making the next step for much time since.
Last season, in his first full year for the club, Rodriguez represented Betis in 35 La Liga games. This time around, he has so far made 10 league appearances from a possible 12.
Once again, his form is causing him to be linked with a transfer to the Premier League. According to Fichajes, he has two remaining suitors in England.
Arsenal are still one of them, with Mikel Arteta’s appreciation of the player not fading.
Midfield is an area they may need to replenish due to Mohamed Elneny and Ainsley Maitland-Niles both wanting to leave in January. Furthermore, they will be missing Thomas Partey for a while due to the African Cup of Nations.
Rodriguez possesses qualities that would transfer well to the Premier League, some believe. With that in mind, Arsenal are still willing to offer him such an opportunity.
But so too are their London rivals West Ham. The report compares their situation to that of Betis at present, as a club fighting for the European places.
It would therefore be an interesting move for Rodriguez if he wants to try his luck in the Premier League.
Coincidentally, his current coach at Betis is former Hammers boss Manuel Pellegrini. He could be about to do his former employers a favour if he sanctions such a transfer for Rodriguez.
But Betis are under no immediate pressure to sell a player under contract until 2024. Therefore, it may cost more than €30m to prise him away. That fee would be 10 times what his current club originally paid for him.
Rodriguez to complement or replace Rice?
As a defensive midfielder being targeted by West Ham, questions will immediately turn to what Rodriguez’s potential transfer may mean for Declan Rice.
The England international is currently West Ham’s star man in the middle of the park. But he has been linked with clubs of Champions League stature, which may make it hard for them to keep him.
David Moyes has insisted that Rice’s price tag will be very high, so they don’t seem to be too concerned for now.
Still, it is not clear whether they view Rodriguez as someone who can replace him if he leaves, or who can play alongside him.
Also in their midfield at present are Tomas Soucek, Spartak Moscow loanee Alex Kral and club captain Mark Noble, who is leaving at the end of the season.
Whatever the future holds, it does seem an area that could do with some extra depth.
But Arsenal’s pursuit of Rodriguez has been running for longer, it seems. So they may have some catching up to do.