Arsenal have been strongly linked with Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema, but it may take a club-record £45m to acquire the Frenchman’s services.
Real manager Rafa Benitez has insisted that Benzema is not going anywhere.
The Gunners’ record transfer in is German forward Mesut Ozil, signed two years ago for £42.5m, ironically from the same Spanish side as Benzema.
One factor that may persuade the Bernabeu side to sell is the adaptability of superstars Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo, both of which able to shine in the middle. This may make Benzema expendable.
Real are currently taking part in the Audi Cup, and after they had beaten Tottenham 2-0, Benitez, in the post-match press conference, did nothing to dispel any rumours of Benzema and Arsenal.
He simply said “Hopefully everyone will continue here and we can win the league.”
The Spanish La Liga season starts on August 23, so if Benzema does go, Real have a little time to scout a replacement. This may well be Marco Reus, who has admirers at the Bernabeu.
by Steve Osborne