Arsenal were among the biggest spenders in this summer’s transfer window, investing roughly £92m on new talent.
In addition to the arrivals of Granit Xhaka, Rob Holding, Lucas Pérez and Shkodran Mustafi, the Gunners were linked with a large number of players across Europe throughout the summer.
One of the most prominent of these links was with Wolfsburg defender Ricardo Rodríguez. Arsenal were thought to be considering activating the Swiss international’s €25m release clause earlier this summer, before it subsequently expired on July 1st.
At that point, Wolfsburg could simply name their price for the 24-year-old left-back, but their newfound position of power emboldened them to state that he wasn’t for sale.
Chelsea also found themselves linked with Rodríguez towards the end of the transfer window, but they ended up pursuing a cheaper and less problematic deal for Fiorentina’s Marcos Alonso instead.
Speaking to Swiss publication Blick recently, Rodríguez has opened up on the failed bids by the Premier League club(s) that came to nothing in the end, admitting that his high transfer valuation may have deterred potential suitors (not that he personally thought it was too high in comparison to other deals) but insisting that he was happy at the Wolfsburg Arena.
“You have to ask the club officials. It had to be so. God wanted it that way.
“It just needs the right timing for a transfer. And it happens to be a fact that there has been little moves in this transfer window in my position.
“Incidentally, I do not think that €25 million would be too high a transfer fee for me. I’m only 24, with over four years experience in the Bundesliga and national team. Since then there has already been more than €40 million paid for other players with a lesser track record.
“I have a contract at Wolfsburg until 2019, I’ve been here for four-and-a-half years and established quite a reputation within the team. I’m fine, believe me!”
Rodríguez’s Wolfsburg have made a solid start to the new Bundesliga season with four points gathered from two games. The Wolves are looking to recover from what was a poor last season, finishing in eighth place and missing out on European football.