Manchester United to battle Arsenal for £40m services of Karim Benzema
Karim Benzema has been targeted as the striker to solve Manchester United's goalscoring problems and Louis van Gaal is prepared to rival Arsenal in a bid for the player's signature.
According to the Guardian, if United make a move for the Real Madrid striker, goalkeeper David de Gea could be used as a makeweight in any deal.
Benzema would cost in the region of £40m and United would have to battle Premier League rivals Arsenal for the 27-year-old.
Benzema only signed a new contract at the Bernabeu last summer but, following Carlo Ancelotti's dismissal at the weekend, it remains unclear whether Rafael Benitez, the expected incoming manager, holds Benzema in his future plans.
The Frenchman scored 22 goals in 46 appearances for Real this season and at 27, is considered to be in his prime.
United are in desperate need of reinforcements in attack. Wayne Rooney, Robin van Persie, Radamel Falcao and James Wilson only managed 26 league goals between them this season.
Falcao has since returned to Monaco, while Van Persie's future at Old Trafford looks uncertain.
Meanwhile, United have placed Dani Alves on their short-list of potential defensive recruits this summer - but will only turn to the Barcelona full-back if they fail to land their priority targets.
Alves is out of contract at the Nou Camp this summer and currently embroiled in a public stand-off with the Champions League finalists over his future.
The Brazilian had been expected to leave Barcelona at the end of the season, but with the Spanish champions barred from signing players due to a Fifa-imposed transfer embargo, efforts have been made to hand Alves a contract extension.
The former Sevilla right-back, who has been linked with Paris Saint-Germain, admitted this week, however, that he has been left unimpressed by Barcelona’s attempts to keep him and United have been made aware of the player’s desire to move to the Premier League.