Arsenal are prepared to bide their time and wait until the end of the transfer window for a potential deal to sign Karim Benzema from Real Madrid. Arsene Wenger has identified his fellow Frenchman as his top target to improve the Gunners’ attack this summer and still believes the striker could end up in north London.
Real Madrid have said that Benzema is not for sale and the 27-year-old is happy in the Spanish capital, but Arsenal are closely monitoring his situation.
Arsenal believe they can clinch a deal for Benzema in a similar manner to the £42.5 million (€60m) signing of Mesut Ozil from Real Madrid on the final day of the transfer window in 2013. There has been speculation in Spain that Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale have both been pencilled in to play in more central positions by new Real Madrid coach Rafael Benitez.
Benzema is known as a favourite of Madrid president Florentino Perez but could look to move if he finds himself out of the side in the early part of the season.
Wenger wants to add a top quality forward to his squad and has allowed alternatives to join other clubs this summer in the hope that Benzema will become available in August.
Arsenal are prepared to spend around £35m (€50m) on Benzema as they look to make the former Lyon man their marquee summer signing following the arrivals of Ozil and Alexis Sanchez in the last two years.
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.
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.
The Gunners are believed to be preparing a £17.8million bid for the France international forward, and Real are on the verge of letting him leave, according to reports in Spain.