Arsenal fans look away, you would not want to read this! After reports have emanated from various sources in recent times suggesting a move to the Emirates for Karim Benzema is a highly-likely possibility, a demoralising blow seems to be been handed to Arsenal and their supporters.
Italian journalist and Arsenal enthusiast Emanuel Gialunelli has been coming up with similar stories regarding the transfer, giving Arsenal fans a glimmer of hope of finally landing a top notch forward since the days of Thierry Henry. However, things are about to change.
The Daily Star is carrying a report that says Real Madrid boss Rafael Benitez wants Benzema to remain at the Santiago Bernabeu despite strong interest from Arsenal.
Benitez has hinted the France international striker will not leave Madrid, even after reports emerged from Europe again today that Benzema was on his way to the Emirates.
However, the former Liverpool, Chelsea and Inter manager thinks otherwise.
“Benzema is a great player,” Benitez told El Pais.
“One of my ideas this year is that he can reach 20 to 25 goals mark. I am very confident.”
Benzema, who scored 22 goals in all competitions under Carlo Ancelotti last term, was rumoured earlier on in the season to not be part of Benitez’ plans at the Bernabeu, with reports saying the Spanish manager wants to utilise Cristiano Ronaldo as Los Blancos’ main striker, flanked by Gareth Bale and James Rodriguez.
However, it seems Benitez has given Benzema the nod to spearhead the attack this season, with these comments and if they are true, Arsenal could have to turn to Paris Saint-Germain’s want-away forward Edinson Cavani who is reportedly worth £35m.
Benzema is Wenger’s main target and the French manager has been a long term admirer of his compatriot but things have now appeared somewhat an impasse. Wenger privately does not believe in Olivier Giroud to lead his team to Premier League glory this season, and the hint that Benzema would be staying at the Bernabeu would hit him hard on the head like a six-inch nail.
Meanwhile, the Gunners could turn to £35m Paris Saint-Germain forward Edinson Cavani who is understood to want a move away from Parc des Princes, but it is not clear whether Wenger is really interested in the Uruguay international. If that is the case, Arsenal may have to make do with what they have – Giroud – for the rest of the season, as the transfer window is only twelve days away from being shut.