Arsenal have entered the race to sign Karim Benzema after Arsene Wenger held secret talks with striker over January transfer, reports the Daily Star.
Benzema has been perennially linked with a move to north London throughout his career and this summer's transfer window was no different. Wenger eventually dropped his interest after the striker agreed a five-year contract extension with Real Madrid.
Instead Wenger went on to sign Manchester United star Danny Welbeck for £16 million. The Englishman has hit the ground running at the Emirates Stadium, but Wenger now has concerns over Olivier Giroud.
Giroud broke his ankle against Everton in August and is not expected to return until January. Wenger is fearful that he will need too much time to get back to his best and wants Benzema to get their title challenge back on track.
According to the report, Wenger has already held discussions with Benzema over a potential move in the January transfer window. As he is still open to criticism at Real Madrid, there is hope that he may demand a move in January.
Arsenal would have the advantage in the race for Benzema, who has been valued at £30 million in the same report. Wenger's connection to French football would no doubt make the Gunners more attractive than Liverpool.
However, Liverpool should be able to afford Benzema more playing time at Anfield. Although Daniel Sturridge has been playing up front since Luis Saurez's departure, the Englishman is accomplished in the wide areas; where he flourished with the Uruguayan last season.
Reports surfaced earlier this month suggesting that Liverpool had already agreed a deal with Real Madrid for the striker. The fee, reported to be around £39 million, would be a record for Liverpool, but there is, unsurprisingly, no confirmation forthcoming from either parties.