Optimistic Arsenal fans have reacted with excitement after Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema posted a cryptic message on Instagram.
Benzema has not flown with the rest of the Real Madrid squad to Shanghai, but posted a photo of himself in a private plane alongside the caption: “Let the past remain the past.”
This has prompted a host of Arsenal fans to react with excitement on both Instagram and Twitter - and you can check out some of the best tweets by scrolling further down this page.
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It’s been reported throughout this summer that Benzema is the striker at the top of Arsene Wenger’s summer transfer wish-list.
Wenger has been granted permission by Arsenal to smash the club’s transfer record this summer if necessary, while Benzema has reportedly told the veteran French coach that he is open to a surprise move to the Emirates Stadium.
Karim Benzema unlikely to be sold
However - and it’s a big however - Benzema remains a firm favourite of Real Madrid’s influential president Florentino Perez, who is extremely unlikely to agree to the sale of the France international.
Rafael Benitez will also be keen to keep Benzema in his ranks, with no like-for-like replacement lined up.
Furthermore, Cristiano Ronaldo has made no secret of the fact he enjoys playing alongside the unselfish Benzema, who has played his part in so many of the Portuguese superstar’s goals in recent seasons.
Real Madrid are keen to keep Ronaldo as happy as possible at the moment after replacing his favoured coach Carlo Ancelotti with ex-Liverpool boss Benitez at the end of last season.
Benzema heading to Madrid rather than London?
Rather than flying to London for a medical with Arsenal, Benzema is more likely to be on his way back to Madrid to recover from a thigh injury.
The former Lyon striker sat out of Real Madrid’s 3-0 victory over Inter Milan in the International Champions Cup on Monday, and will also miss Thursday’s showpiece friendly against AC Milan in the Chinese city.
Unfortunately for Arsenal, the chances of Benzema joining the Gunners before the transfer window closes on September 1 appear to be extremely slim.
But that hasn’t stopped Arsenal fans from expressing their excitement on social media. Here are some of the best tweets.
There’s little doubt that Benzema would be a significant upgrade on his France international teammate Olivier Giroud, who has scored a modest 58 goals in 134 appearances since joining the Gunners from Montpellier three years ago.
But it’s far more likely that Giroud will begin the 2015-16 season as Arsenal’s first-choice centre-forward, rather than the world-class Benzema.
Arsenal fans: how happy would you be if Karim Benzema joined your club this summer? Let us know by leaving a comment in the box below!