Exclusive: Arsenal To Rival Manchester United For £38.5m Colombian World Cup Star

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Clubs on alert as Monaco ready to sell winger.Arsenal could join Manchester United in the hunt for highly-rated Colombian winger James Rodriguez this summer after his club AS Monaco admitted they are ready to listen to offers of around £38.5m for the player.

The 22-year-old has been in superb form at this summer’s World Cup after a strong showing in his first season at Monaco as well, and is widely regarded as one of the best up-and-coming talents in the world at the moment.

With his performances in Brazil really catching the eye, United have been strongly linked as admirers of the former Porto star in the last few days, with Arsenal now also looking to join the chase for his signature as they eye new attacking signings for next season.

Rodriguez has three goals and two assists in just three appearances at the World Cup so far, following on from nine goals and 12 assists in Ligue 1 this season, and it is thought that the player himself has pushed for his club to allow him to talk to other teams this summer.

With the youngster eager to move on, Monaco have seemingly set a surprisingly low asking price for the player they signed for around £35m just last summer, as they hope to resolve his situation and sign a replacement quickly before the start of pre-season, though their fee of £38.5m would be not including various add-ons and clauses in his contract at his next club.

United’s lack of Champions League football for next season could prove a stumbling block in a potential deal, with Arsenal now looking the favourites to sign him and add something different to their attacking midfield options.

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger has been keen to sign a new winger to give his side more directness to help fill in for the injury-prone Theo Walcott, with the likes of Alexis Sanchez and Juan Cuadrado emerging as top targets for the north Londoners in recent times.

However, with Sanchez now likely to move to Liverpool as part of a swap deal involving Luis Suarez, and Cuadrado possibly moving to the Nou Camp as his replacement, Wenger has switched his focus to Rodriguez after it emerged that he had become available for a reasonable price.

Arsenal nearly paid a similar fee to Schalke for exciting youngster Julian Draxler back in January, but Rodriguez would arguably represent better value for money with his experience and impressive recent statistics.

After spending big on Mesut Ozil last summer, this deal would represent another major statement of intent from Arsenal as they look to become serious challengers for the Premier League title again.

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