As Barcelona attempt to find a replacement for the injured Luis Suarez, the La Liga champions are set to offer Valencia cash plus defender Nelson Semedo in order to sign striker Rodrigo. The Catalan side opted to move for Rodrigo after giving up on signing Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
The Spanish giants are desperate to boost their striking options after Suarez was sidelined for the next four months following knee surgery, and the Catalan club had targeted Aubameyang to fill in for the Uruguayan but the Gunners wanted at least £50million for their 30-year-old skipper.
Aubameyang has also not hidden the fact he could be tempted away from north London with Arsenal looking increasingly likely to miss out on Champions League football again next season.
FutballNews reports that Valencia president Anil Murthy has travelled to Catalonia in an attempt to thrash out a deal which will see Rodrigo, who has eight goals in 21 Spain caps, move to Nou Camp on loan with an option to buy. It is understood that the Catalans are willing to include a player to sweeten the deal for Rodrigo.
Defender Moussa Wagué and 19-year-old striker Abel Ruiz are also been considered in the deal. Also, out-of-favour midfielder Ivan Rakitic is reported to be considered but the Croatian’s wage requests were reportedly too high.
However, neither of the players mentioned appeared to appease Valencia, and they are only interested in striking up a cash deal. They are holding out for €60m and the guarantee that Rodrigo will join on a permanent basis in the summer,
According to Sport, negotiations were thought to have come to a standstill last week, with Valencia having initially rejected several approaches from Barcelona for the 28-year-old striker. But reports now say that Los Che have re-entered discussions with La Liga’s champions.
Rodrigo would become new Barcelona manager Quique Setién’s first signing since arriving at the club less than two weeks ago. Valencia inflicted the first defeat of Setién’s Barcelona reign on Saturday, as a Maxi Gómez strike and a Jordi Alba own goal saw the hosts to a 2-0 win at Mestalla.
Rodrigo was, however, resigned to a place on the bench but did replace French forward Kévin Gameiro on the hour mark in what could have been his last game for the club. He has only scored twice in the league so far.