Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is planning to step up his interest in Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema by launching a formal bid for the £30m-rated star after the Champions League final on May 24th, according to The Telegraph.
Wenger is a long-admirer of the French international and wants to take advantage of lingering unrest over his contract situation at Madrid to finally table a summer offer, with the 26-year-old less than a month away from the final year of his current Madrid deal.
Benzema has also attracted the attention of Liverpool and Manchester United as all three Premier League giants look to bolster their ranks with proven quality during the close season, something Benzema can provide after a fantastic campaign featuring 25 goals in all competitions.
Real have not made a decision over Benzema's long-term future and are currently focusing all their attention on the all-Madrid Champions League final with Atletico at the end of the month, but their eventual stance is highly likely to depend on any pursuit of Reds talisman Luis Suarez.
The Gunners will not attempt to disrupt Madrid's preparations for that showdown but are ready to pounce swiftly with an inquiry for Benzema as soon as that final is finished, in an attempt to beat direct rivals for one of Europe's best forwards.
At times this season Arsenal have looked particularly short of strength in depth across attacking positions, with Olivier Giroud largely left to lead the line on his own and found wanting in big matches despite an impressive return of 22 goals in his second Premier League season.
The battle for Benzema promises to one of the summer's long-running transfer sagas unless Madrid decide to end speculation by tabling an offer of fresh terms, but Arsenal currently lead the race and proved they are willing to spend big on Madrid stars with a sensational £42.4m swoop for Real Madrid last summer.
Gunners fans what do you think, is Benzema the man to spearhead a fight for the title next season? Have your say in the comment box at the bottom of the page!
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