Real target staying put

Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane has revealed reported Arsenal target James Rodriguez will not leave the club this summer.

Arsenal: Real target staying putArsenal: Real target staying put

The Gunners are closing in on a double deal for Shkodran Mustafi and Lucas Perez, who could both be unveiled this week, but reports also suggested last week that a shock deal for Rodriguez could be on the cards.

A lack of first-team action last term has seen the Colombian heavily linked with a departure from the Bernabeu in recent weeks, with Arsenal Chelsea and Juventus reportedly showing an interest in the 25-year-old, while Liverpool were also linked.

Rodriguez came off the bench in Saturday’s 2-1 win over Celta Vigo and Zidane was impressed by his efforts during the 20 minutes he spent on the field.

The Real boss has now moved to end the speculation surrounding the playmaker’s future, by confirming he will stay at the club beyond the close of the transfer window on Wednesday evening.

He told reporters: “I saw James play well, he was involved in the game and yes, he’s going to stay.”

Whether Arsene Wenger was actually preparing to make a move before the deadline remains to be seen, but Zidane’s comments suggest it would be a waste of time.

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