Arsenal have been warned that they must meet Rodrigo's £37m release clause if they want to sign the Benfica striker before the transfer widow closes, reports in Portugal claim.

The Brazilian born Spaniard, a product of the Real Madrid academy, has impressed recently at the Portuguese club scoring six goals in his last six appearances and has reportedly caught the eye of Arsene Wenger.

But according to Portuguese newspaper A Bola Benfica are keen on keeping the striker until at least the end of the season but they would consider a last minute deal if any club meet his £37m buy-out clause.

Benfica are reportedly having economic issues but after selling Matic to Chelsea for £21m the Portuguese side are not willing to see another of their star players move this January unless they recoup a lucrative fee.

After negotiations with Mirko Vucinic failed and with Real Madrid blocking Alvaro Morata's move to the Premier League, Rodrigo has become Wenger's main target up front alongside Julian Draxler.

According to the reports, Spanish side Valencia and Russia's Zenit St Petersburg are also vying for Rodrigo's signature but the Gunners are in pole position to acquire his services.

After drawing against Southampton in their last game, Wenger is desperately looking strengthen his squad before the transfer window closes to increase the Gunners' chances of securing their first Premier League crown in 10 years.

The French boss is especially concerned about adding an striker to the squad after Theo Walcott was ruled out for the rest of the season with all the onus now on Olivier Giroud maintaining full fitness having started in almost every game thus far for the Gunners with Nicklas Bendtner's his only additional cover.