West Brom Target Benfica Striker Rodrigo

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Baggies keen on Spanish hot-shot.

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West Bromwich Albion are lining up a summer swoop for Benfica striker Rodrigo, according to the Express & Star.

Baggies manager Steve Clarke is currently shopping around for a replacement for top scorer Romelu Lukaku who is due back at Chelsea at the end of the season.

The 22-year-old has been identified as a potential replacement after a fine season at the Estádio da Luz that has seen him bag 13 goals in 33 games.

He’s already known on these shores too, having spent a year on loan with Bolton Wanderers in 2010-11. In a largely unsuccessful season for the Trotters he scored just once in 20 appearances.

The Brazilian born Spaniard began his career at Real Madrid’s C and B teams, where he was considered such a hot prospect that he managed to earn 12 caps for the Spanish under-21 squad. He is also the cousin of Barcelona’s Thiago Alcântara.

Rodrigo failed to break into Real’s first team and a year after his Bolton experiment he joined Benfica for €6 million.

Albion are believed to be set to offer him an increase n the £16,000 a week he earns in Lisbon to tempt him back to the Premier League and have scouted him several times, most recently against Rio Ave last weekend.

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