Arsenal have had a bid for Real Madrid forward James Rodriguez rejected by the Spanish and European champions. Though the exact amount offered by the Gunners for the Chelsea and Manchester United target is unknown, it does fall short of Real's £69.8m ($90.3m) valuation.
The Colombia international's days at the Bernabeu appear to be numbered after he was left out of the squad for the Champions League final against Juventus. The 25-year-old made just 13 starts in the Spanish top-flight last season and has fallen down the pecking order behind the likes of Isco and Marco Asensio.
Spanish television programme El Chiringuito [according to The Express] claim Arsenal have submitted an official bid for James, which has been dismissed by Zinedine Zidane's side. The offer is said to fall just short of his valuation and could mean the north Londoners return with a follow-up offer.
Arsene Wenger, the Arsenal manager, says just three new players will arrive during the summer window with the first coming in the form of Sead Kolasinac on a free transfer from Schalke. The French boss has downplayed expectations over swathes of new faces arriving at the Emirates Stadium but insists the calibre of players targeted by the club will not be affected by a failure to qualify for next season's Champions League.
One possible reason for showing an interest in James could be as part of an effort to cover for the loss of Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil, who are on the verge of entering the final 12 months of their respective contracts. Neither player has committed their future to the club beyond 2018 and should Arsenal have any ambition of cashing in on the pair they must surely sanction their departures this summer.
Wenger has steadfastly denied the pair will leave before their deals expire, but the club's stance could be strongly tested this summer should either player indicate they have no intention of extending their spells. The 67-year-old has admitted however that only in the event of Arsenal identifying replacements for either Sanchez or Ozil will they consider allowing the star duo to leave.
Chelsea and United, who will both play in the Champions League next season, have been linked with a move for the golden boot winner from the 2014 World Cup. But after seeing Real clinch the double with a 4-1 win over Juventus in Cardiff, former president Ramon Calderon wants Zidane to refrain from making changes this summer.
"All the lines are very balanced," the 66-year-old told Talksport. "I think the midfield has been perfect to assist the forwards and despite Bale's injury Isco played quite well. I don't think we need any signings. I am sure we will because it's always like that. But I think now the team is perfect. If someone comes, another one that's already in the team will have to leave. That's a pity."