Having finally realized that getting hold of Luis Suarez in this transfer window is nothing more than a day-dream, Arsenal have shifted their attention to yet another Real Madrid striker, Karim Benzema, and have enquired over the striker’s availability.
According to reports from The Telegraph, The Gunners have been encouraged to make a formal approach for the Frenchman and a fee in the region of £40 million would be enough to wrap up the deal.
The Gunners have had a disappointing summer so far, having failed to sign any major names, despite Arsene Wenger, the manager has been provided a reported £70 million transfer war-chest. Further, the opening day 3-1 humiliating defeat at the hands of Aston Villa has seen the manager and the board officials facing wraths of the Gunners’ fans, though Wenger is upbeat that a lot of transfer activity will take place before the transfer window slams shut.
Wenger said: “The transfer market starts for me now and a lot of activity will happen between now and Sept 2. It is like a poker game. People hold their cards as long as possible. In the end, they go for decisions.”
Earlier in the summer, Arsenal were heavily linked with a move for former Real Madrid striker Gonzalo Higuain, but the deal failed to materialize. Also, any potential move for either of Suarez or Wayne Rooney is also highly unlikely and it seems like Benzema represents the last throw of the dice for Wenger to bring a marquee name in the summer.
Benzema is a different sort of striker than Suarez. He is a proven goal scorer, having scored over 20 goals in his last three seasons at Real Madrid. He is adept in bringing others into play, equally good at holding the ball up and would be an ideal candidate to fill up the striker-role in Wenger’s 4-2-3-1 system. But more than anything else, the news of signing a top player from a top club should galvanize the de-spirited Arsenal camp.
Benzema remains the only main striker at the Spanish club, following the departure of Higuain to Napoli in the summer. But, coach Carlo Ancelotti could be ready to push Cristiano Ronaldo as forward, while probable world record signing Gareth Bale could be shifted on the flanks, while young striker Alvaro Mortata is also seen as someone ready to make the step up, should Benzema leave the club.
The 25-year-old would get regular games at the Emirates, which could prompt him to make a move, especially with the World Cup approaching next year. With less than two weeks remaining, Wenger is simply not in a position to search for a bargain, but signing of Benzema would certainly be an excellent start to Arsenal’s business in the last few days of the transfer window.
Meanwhile, Graham Hunter, a popular journalist and La Liga expert said that Madrid are willing to sell Benzema to Arsenal as the Los Blancos are looking to raise the money to bid for Luis Suarez.