Former Arsenal right-back Lauren has urged the club to make Denis Suarez their number one transfer target ahead of James Rodriguez.

Rodriguez is currently on loan at Bayern Munich from Real Madrid but recent reports have suggested that spell could be cut short to bring the Colombian to the Emirates until the end of the season.

Will Arsenal sign Suarez? Five key things to know…

  1. Suarez returned to Barcelona in 2016 after leaving their youth team a year before but has struggled for game time since.
  2. The midfielder spoke of his aim to stay and fight for his place at the Nou Camp following the departure of Andres Iniesta.
  3. The Spaniard has made just six substitute appearances this season, though, managing just 17 minutes in La Liga.
  4. Reports have suggested Arsenal are trying to negotiate a loan deal, although Barca would prefer a permanent solution for the 25-year-old.
  5. The Gunners have also been linked with James Rodriguez but ex-full-back Lauren has urged the club to go all out for Suarez.

Suarez, meanwhile, has managed just six substitute appearances for Barcelona this season and is looking for a club to kick-start his career.

And Lauren, who was a part of the Arsenal ‘invincibles’ side in 2003/04, believes the Gunners should prioritise Suarez, calling Rodriguez ‘a roll of the dice’.

“I’m not sure that Arsenal should be seriously considering James Rodriguez, even on loan,” the ex-Cameroon international told Bwin. “Rodriguez has got a lot of talent, but the warning signs are there that he hasn’t been able to settle at either Real Madrid or Bayern Munich.

“He comes with a massive wage bill so Arsenal would have to make sure he was fully on board with the philosophy of the club.

“Rodriguez has played in the big games for the big clubs so there’s no doubting his talent. If Emery can get the best out of him then he could make a real impact on whether Arsenal qualify for next season’s Champions League. It’s a roll of the dice.”

Lauren then advised Arsenal to make Suarez their ‘number one target’ for the January window, adding: “Suarez should be Arsenal’s number one target this transfer window.

“He’s an excellent player and he’s having to fight with so many top players to get first-team football at Barcelona. Arsenal should look to sign him above the likes of Rodriguez, no doubt about it.”

Barcelona tell Suarez: sign a contract or move to Sevilla

Unai Emery’s interest in Denis Suarez dates back to when the pair worked together at Sevilla in the 2014/15 season.

However, according to a report from Cadena Ser, the Blaugrana would rather Suarez move back to the Andalusian club, or Real Betis, instead of Arsenal, who are trying to negotiate a loan deal.

The report also goes as far to say that Barca have told the player he will not play any more competitive football unless he signs a new contract at the Nou Camp or moves on to a new club, with the two interested Spanish sides said to be willing to match their €20m valuation.

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