Football News

Rodrigo to Barcelona? Club president admits interest in one of Rivaldo’s favourite La Liga forwards

By Chris Smith

Published: 17:08, 28 January 2020

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has confirmed his club are considering a bid for Valencia forward Rodrigo Moreno.

The Blaugrana have been left with a hole to fill up front after Luis Suarez was ruled out for the majority of the season with a knee problem. The player himself had even previously admitted he expects Barcelona to sign his replacement at some point in the near future. As such, the reigning La Liga champions are being linked with a number of potential targets.

Rodrigo to Barcelona? Five key things to know…

  • Suarez has been ruled out for the majority of the season with a knee injury.
  • Bartomeu has admitted Rodrigo is a player Barca are keeping tabs on.
  • Suarez is the only Barca player to provide more La Liga assists (7) than Rodrigo (6) this season.
  • But Rodrigo has only managed two goals in the Spanish top-flight in 2019/20.
  • The Blaugrana have also been linked with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Lautaro Martinez.

Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was thought to be Barca’s prime target, but Arsenal appear completely unwilling to enter negotiations as they seek to salvage what has been a tough season so far, while Inter’s Lautaro Martinez has also been linked with a move for some time.

Inter are reportedly equally unwilling to listen to offers in January as they seek to keep pace with Juventus in the Serie A title race, leading Barca to their next target, Rodrigo.

 “We don’t talk about players from other teams. But [Rodrigo’s] name is on the table of the coaches,” Bartomeu responded when asked if Barca are targetting the Spain international.

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“And a replacement will arrive. I do not know whether it will be from Barcelona B or from outside [the club]. I like many players.”

Rodrigo came off the bench during Valencia’s 2-0 win over Barcelona on Saturday — a result which leaves Quique Setien’s men three points behind La Liga leaders and arch-rivals Real Madrid. The Blaugrana are now 11/10 with William Hill* to lift the La Liga title, behind Real Madrid at 4/6 while Atletico Madrid can be backed at an outside price of 33/1.

*You have to be 18+ to gamble. For more information, go to BeGambleAware.org

Rodrigo has struggled to find the net so far this season, scoring just two goals in 18 league appearances.

However, the 28-year-old has netted six times in 12 Champions League and Copa del Rey appearances, while also notching a team-high six La Liga assists and creating more chances from open play (21) than any other Valencia player in the Spanish top flight.

Suarez is the only Barcelona player to register more La Liga assists (7) than Rodrigo this season while Lionel Messi is the only one to create more chances (28) than the Spain international.

With the squad still struggling to adjust to Setien’s demanding style of play, a player of Rodrigo’s creative capabilities could be vital in connecting the dots in the final third.

Rodrigo one of La Liga’s best, says Rivaldo

Further to Bartomeu’s comments, Barcelona legend Rivaldo has given his seal of approval for Rodrigo, labelling the former Benfica man as one of La Liga’s best forwards.

“He’s one of the best goalscorers in La Liga and a key player for Celades,” said the Brazilian recently.

“I imagine that negotiations will not be easy, it would reinforce a direct opponent. They would have to pay a lot to sign him.”

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