With the news that Sven Mislintat will leave Arsenal when the transfer window closes, a report from Spain in AS claims that Unai Emery is not happy with the scout for not doing ‘everything possible’ to land James Rodriguez from Real Madrid.

MUNICH, GERMANY – NOVEMBER 03: James Rodriguez of Bayern Muenchen looks on during the Bundesliga match between FC Bayern Muenchen and Sport-Club Freiburg at Allianz Arena on November 3, 2018 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Speculation abounds as to what has really gone on behind the scenes to lead to Mislintat’s departure. The main story that seems to have gained hold is that he was unhappy with how his influence has waned since Ivan Gazidis left the club with Unai Emery more involved with transfers than expected. It could be that this involvement in the chase for a player they can’t afford brought things to a head.

Augustin Martin claims in AS that, “Emery considers him [James] a key player and within the Gunner group accuses Sven Mislintat, head of scouts, of not having done everything possible to recruit him for the whole of north London provoking a war internal with the Basque coach.”

It has been reported that Arsenal are very interested in bringing James to the club this month. That seems fanciful when you considered how much that would cost.

Then it was reported that the club could have him for the rest of the season on loan for the bargain price of €3m – Bayern’s outstanding loan amount owed to Real Madrid.

A nice little story. Here you have a talented player looking for a new home and he would cost just €3m to get him through the door.

Sadly, it seems like none of it matters, not his price nor his availability.

Speaking to Radio Marte, Hernan Ospina, David’s father (and the father of James’ wife), said, “James Rodriguez? These rumors [that he will move to Napoli] have arrived also in Colombia, but there is also talk of Juventus and the Premier League, he is a great player, he has done well everywhere.”

A move, then, seems certainly on the cards, but it is unlikely to be to Arsenal.

At the start of the month, it was reported that Bayern Munich had given a ‘green light’ to the forward’s move away from the club

MUNICH, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 03: James Rodriguez of Bayern Muenchen looks on during the Bundesliga match between FC Bayern Muenchen and Sport-Club Freiburg at Allianz Arena on November 3, 2018 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Bongarts/Getty Images)
MUNICH, GERMANY – NOVEMBER 03: James Rodriguez of Bayern Muenchen looks on during the Bundesliga match between FC Bayern Muenchen and Sport-Club Freiburg at Allianz Arena on November 3, 2018, in Munich, Germany. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Spanish outlet Don Balon wrote that Bayern coach Niko Kovac ‘does not count’ on Rodriguez, and the club are willing to give the ‘green light’ to his departure. Real Madrid would consider welcoming him back, but Arsenal, Juventus, Napoli and Liverpool are all interested too.

The same outlet then published an update saying that Arsenal had put a €70m ‘on the table’ and offered James a key role in their team.

Don Balon aren’t a reliable source of news, but the English media has nonetheless taken the claims and run with them. The Daily Star went on to write that Arsenal are ‘touted for James Rodriguez raid’, the Mirror said Arsenal are ‘interested in stunning £63m swoop’ for him.

Plenty of outlets have been reporting that Real Madrid have accepted an Arsenal bid, based solely on the Don Balon report.

James Rodriguez with Real Madrid

The reality, however, is that Don Balon have just realised that their usual story about Karim Benzema-to-Arsenal is old now. No one takes it seriously, so they’ve had to move onto a new player to invent stories for.