Arsenal to launch ambitious Benzema bid

The Gunners believe the striker is interested in a move to London and are preparing a big-money offer to tempt Real Madrid to sell

GOALEXCLUSIVE    By Greg Stobart     Follow on Twitter
Arsenal are preparing an ambitious summer bid for Real Madrid star Karim Benzema, Goal has learned.

The Gunners believe Benzema is interested in a move to north London if the club are able to agree a deal, hoped to be around £35 million, with Real Madrid.

Any move would likely depend on whether the Spanish giants sign a new striker in the summer to play alongside Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale.

Alberto Piñero in Madrid | Goal Spain

There is a player at Real Madrid that is like a life insurance for all coaches. He is also one of his team-mates' favourites. And last but not least, he is the apple of president Florentino Perez' eye. This is Karim Benzema. A player who is criticised by fans for not scoring as many goals as Cristiano Ronaldo, but nevertheless he makes an invaluable and invisible effort to help the No.7 score as many goals as he does.

Therefore, for Karim Benzema to be sold by Real Madrid... it would be almost a joke. "Never, never, never," Florentino would say. But as in the famous case of David Beckham, in football anything can happen.

Real Madrid will have a new coach - Rafa Benitez probably- and it is not known which system will he use or if he will trust Benzema. And if he doesn't use the 'BBC' trio, it is clear that Karim is the weakest member. So Arsene, stay alert just in case.
But Arsenal are ready to test their resolve with a big bid for Benzema, who scored 22 goals in 46 appearances this season.

Arsenal announced that they had cash reserves of £138.8m in their last financial accounts and can easily afford to sign Benzema as their marquee summer arrival having brought Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil to the Emirates Stadium in the last two years.

Arsene Wenger wants to sign a top class striker as he prepares Arsenal for a title challenge next season following their third-placed finish this year.

He tried to sign Luis Suarez from Liverpool in 2013 and believes Benzema, 27, is capable of firing Arsenal to their first Premier League triumph since 2004. Wenger is a huge admirer of the France international and tried to sign him before he joined Real Madrid from Lyon in 2009.

Arsenal are understood to be ready to listen to offers for Olivier Giroud to make room for Benzema, with French champions Paris Saint-Germain closely monitoring the 28-year-old’s situation.

Wenger is targeting three signings to mount a title challenge next season and also wants a goalkeeper and defensive midfielder.

Petr Cech is considered the perfect choice as the club’s new goalkeeper but Chelsea have so far insisted they do not want to sell the 32-year-old to a Premier League rival.

Arsenal will have to pay over the odds to sign Cech while Southampton have quoted £25m for midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin.

Wenger values the France international at around £20m and may look to cheaper alternatives, particularly given Francis Coquelin’s excellent from in the second half of the season.