Last summer Arsene Wenger made an approach to sign Jose Rodriguez from Real Madrid. The player was very close to signing with Arsenal and even spent two days in London; whilst he was there he was shown around the club and was even shown where he would live. He was the star player of the Under 17 World Club Championship and it was believed that he consulted with Cesc Fabregas about a move but in the end he opted to stay at the Santiago Bernabeu and turned down a five-year deal at the Emirates.
Real Madrid has a habit of letting youngsters go. Two of the best examples are Juan Mata and Álvaro Negredo, but Real Madrid are determined not to let this happen again. The Under 19 international turns 18 in just a few days time and the powers that be in Madrid are determined to sign him to a long term deal with a release clause of just under €10m. Arsenal will hope that they can still steal him and try and convince him that they can offer more first team football.
Mourinho has faced some criticism by failing to bring players up with former Coach Bernd Schuster claiming: ‘He is the person who has done the less work (In developing and giving youth a chance), he is not going to do it, it doesn’t interest him.’ It is with Rodríguez that Mourinho has proved the German wrong.
Back in October José Mourinho launched a stinging attack on Real Madrid’s B-side. Some have argued that Los Blancos have become a side that doesn’t produce youth products but buys them. The Special One said that the B team, known as Castilla were not the same as Barca B as the Catalan club use a system where all sides play the same style. In Madrid, Mourinho claimed the Castilla Coach was: ‘Doing what he wanted with his team.’ The Portuguese coach said that Rodríguez was fourth in line at the B team and for that reason he was been called into the first team.
Mourinho has brought the midfielder into first team training sessions. The 17 year old has already grabbed all the headlines at youth level. In just a few days he was making them again when he made his La Liga, Copa Del Rey and Champions League debut. When he came on against Ajax, he became the youngest player to play for Real Madrid in the Champions League.
Stories in England say Arsenal will bid but for as much potential the player may have, their fans will want someone who will deliver results now. The player is growing with confidence and all Real Madrid fans are eagerly following his progress. With the Bernabeu outfit keen to tie him down in the next few days, it would be incredible were Arsenal to actually sign him.