Thursday 27 October 2016

Arsenal ready to swoop for Karim Benzema if Frenchman is frozen out at Real Madrid

Published 14/07/2015 | 09:01

Arsene Wenger is a big fan of Karim Benzema
Arsene Wenger is a big fan of Karim Benzema

Arsene Wenger is ready to swoop to capture Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema - if incoming manager Rafa Benitez does not pick him.

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According to El Confidencial journalist Kike Marin, the Frenchman will seek a move away from the Bernabeu if he does not figure under the former Liverpool and Chelsea manager.

The 27-year-old has impressed during his time at Real, having joined the club in 2009, but he continues to be linked with a move away this summer.

Benzema has scored over 20 goals in each of his last five seasons at Real Madrid, but the Mail say that Benitez will play Cristiano Ronaldo in the No 9 role which could see Benzema frozen out.

Spanish journalist Marin is confident that should Benzema face a life on the bench, Wenger will come to his aid but his £46m-vaulation could be a little steeper than the club are willing to pay.

Read more: 'We're not done yet' - Van Gaal bullish on transfer front as Lewandowski and Cavani linked to Old Trafford

Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil could have a big say in how the transfer negotiations play out. The pair were team-mates at Real and have continued to stay friends since Ozil's arrival in north London.

Wenger, meanwhile, once said Benzema would be his "dream signing" and would compliment his attack which currently includes Olivier Giroud, Alexis Sanchez, Danny Welbeck and Theo Walcott.

The Arsenal manager has played down speculation that Ozil could leave this summer.

The Germany international made 22 appearances for Arsenal due to a succession of injuries but returned to play a huge role in their 10-match unbeaten run during the second half of the season.

“Ozil is our player, he will remain our player and he wants to remain our player," Wenger said.

"It is a big season for him because he had a difficult start last year and in the second part of the season he was very important. There are many offensive players who have an important season in front of them but I’m confident because I think they have the quality," he insisted.

Carl Jenkinson has signed a new five-year deal at Arsenal - but rejoined West Ham on loan.

Our story in the Telegraph says Arsenal have tied the England under-21 international down to a long-term contract after rejecting a £8 million bid from Southampton in June.

Jenkinson, 23, was also a target for Sunderland and Aston Villa but has returned from holiday to sign a long-term deal at the Emirates Stadium.

Arsenal face competition from AC Milan in their pursuit of defender Alessio Romagnoli.

According to the Express, the Italian giants have made a £14.3m bid to sign the Roma centre-back.

The defender has been touted as a possible replacement for Per Mertesacker.

Sky Sport Italia also report that Milan want to add the highly-rated defender to their squad and have had bids rejected by Roma but will up their offer in an attempt to sign him.

Roma are thought to be unwilling to listen to offers below their €30m valuation of the youngster.

Finally, could Arsenal be about to sign a player they have been tracking on and off for the last three seasons?

It seems like Julian Draxler could finally be winging his way to the Emirates, according to reports.

Wenger is a huge fan of the creative midfielder, but Schalke have always refused to sell. Now Bild believes they are ready to do business as they look to fund a deal for Inter Milan’s Xherdan Shaqiri.

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