Arsenal and Everton are reportedly battling to sign Real Madrid midfielder James Rodriguez on loan before the January transfer window shuts.
The 28-year-old returned to the Bernabeu last summer after two seasons on loan at Bayern Munich.
However, he faces an uncertain future having made just 11 appearances so far for Madrid this term. Rodriguez has made just four starts in La Liga this season and has not played in the league since the middle of October due to injury.
Madrid president Florentino Perez is believed to value the attacking midfielder at around £34m, although the La Liga giants are thought to be open to sending Rodriguez out on loan with a view to a permanent departure at the end of the season.
Arsenal already have a good working relationship with Real, having taken midfielder Dani Ceballos from Los Blancos on a season-long loan at the start of this campaign.
Towards the end of last year, Spanish publication Marca reported that Rodriguez would turn down a move to the Emirates, as he is determined to prove himself to Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane.
However, he is not believed to be in Zidane’s plans and a move to the Premier League could reinvigorate his career.
Rodriguez had requested his loan move to Bayern after finding his playing time limited during Zidane’s previous spell as Madrid boss.
Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti worked with Rodriguez at Bayern, and before that at Madrid, and enjoyed a good working relationship with the midfielder.
And it is believed he was keen on signing the Colombian last summer while in charge of Napoli.
If Ancelotti could securing Rodriguez’s signature it would help vindicate the belief that Everton’s £11.5million-per-year investment in the coveted Italian can pay off through player recruitment.