Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane has decided to recall Fabio Coentrao ahead of next season to serve as back-up to Marcelo rather than sign another left-back, according to reports in Spain. The news is a boost for Arsenal's hopes of securing the services of Ricardo Rodriguez, as Marca points out that Los Blancos will now give up their pursuit for the Wolfsburg defender.
The Champions League winners had identified the left-back position as a priority to be bolstered during the coming summer transfer window, as Zidane only has one specialist for the role in the shape of Marcelo. Versatile academy centre-back Nacho Fernandez, right-back Danilo and Alvaro Arbeloa were all drafted in to cover for the Brazil international during the 2015-2016 campaign. However Zidane was understood to be interested in bringing a new left-back in to strengthen his back-line ahead of the next campaign, with the futures of both Nacho and Arbeloa under question.
However, Marca and AS both reported on Wednesday (8 June) that the French boss has instead opted to recall Coentrao from his loan spell at Monaco, using the transfer money to boost over parts of his squad.
Real Madrid signed Coentrao in 2011. After he had fell behind Marcelo in the pecking order at the club, he was sent on loan to Monaco last summer. The Portugal international enjoyed a good start to the life in Ligue 1, but fell victim to an injury that has prevented him from featuring in the European Championship. However, Zidane believes he has what it takes to be his second-choice left-back at the Santiago Bernabeu, having already worked with him during his days as Carlo Ancelotti's assistant.
AS claims that the decision has already been made, while Marca suggests that his injury problems may deter Los Blancos from putting their faith in him.
Marca claims that Los Blancos are ready to quit the race to sign Ricardo Rodríguez, despite the 23-year-old being heavily linked with a move to the Santiago Bernabeu in recent months. The report suggests Zidane does not see the sense of spending big on the Wolfsburg star to be just a mere back-up for Marcelo.
This news could be welcomed at Arsenal amid recurring reports linking the Switzerland international with a move to the Emirates Stadium.
Kicker broke the news of Arsene Wenger's interest in the defender last month after suggesting that the Premier League giants were considering activating his €25m (£19.5m, $28.5m) release clause.
The 23-year-old left-back did little to diminish those speculations after admitting it would be exciting to reunite with his international team-mate Granit Xhaka at Arsenal after his compatriot recently became the Gunners' first transfer of the summer.
Meanwhile, Wolfsburg sporting director Klaus Allofs admitted the club was resigned to losing the player, being quoted as saying by Swiss publication Blick: "As we have recently talked it was clear; his idea is to leave us."