Karim Benzema would appear close to ending doubts about his future, with the French striker reportedly close to committing himself to Real Madrid by signing a new contract that will expire in 2018.
Deal to be announced next week
It is reported by El Confidencial that Benzema has a agreed a four-year deal worth €28 million over its duration, after deciding to lower his demands of €9 million-per-season and accept Real Madrid’s initial offer.
Benzema will reportedly finalise the contract in the coming days, before his renewal is announced by Real Madrid next week. It is news that will, of course, end any remote hopes Arsenal or Liverpool had of signing the player, with both clubs having been linked.
The acquisition of a proven goalscorer is something of a priority for Liverpool following the departure of Luis Suarez, and the club have already made moves in an attempt to soften the blow left the sale of their leading marksman.
Liverpool had agreed a fee with Queens Park Rangers for Loic Remy, but the club decided against pursuing the deal after the player failed an extensive medical examination. Benzema had been mentioned as an alternative, but the club would likely have received an indication of his intention to remain at the Santiago Bernabeu.
There is no doubt Benzema would have fulfilled the criteria of a reputable replacement for Suarez given the goalscoring ability he has demonstrated in Madrid, but Liverpool will have to look for other candidates.
Jackson Martinez is a player to have been extensively linked with a move to Anfield, and is perhaps the most prominent name the club are supposedly pursuing as Brendan Rodgers looks to conduct more transfer business before the deadline.
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Arsenal, meanwhile, appeared to have a more serious interest in Benzema than Liverpool, and were reportedly ready to pursue the player before he left for the World Cup with the France team.
Arsene Wenger identified the signing of a marquee forward as his main goal for this summer transfer window, but eventually focused his attention on a deal for Alexis Sanchez after it became clear the Chilean was available.
Sanchez represents a more versatile option for Arsenal and would not directly replace Olivier Giroud, rather provide competition across the front line. Benzema, on the other hand, would have been unlikely to play in the same team as Giroud, but instead of his international colleague.