Arsene Wenger has denied that Arsenal are currently pursuing a deal for Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema. A report in a leading Spanish newspaper AS claimed the Gunners had set aside as much as €65million to sign the France international, but, according to Wenger, that is far from the truth.
Arsenal have a high-quality squad heading into the new season; a claim made strong by their resilient 1-0 win over Chelsea in Sunday's Community Shield. However, stories regarding the arrival of a world-class striker refuse to die down.
Wenger has been backed to bring some form of upgrade to Olivier Giroud before the end of the current transfer window. Benzema is just one of several names to have been mentioned in the same sentence as Arsenal with Napoli's Gonzalo Higuain and even Bayern Munich star Robert Lewandowski receiving similar treatment.
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In an effort to curb this ongoing speculation, which will probably be affecting Giroud amongst others in the Arsenal squad, Wenger was unequivocal when asked about his apparent interest in Benzema.
When asked about a deal for the striker, Wenger said: "No, nothing is happening. Honestly no. I don’t know who brings that up. Is it Spanish media or English media? I don’t know."
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Having seen Mesut Ozil arrive in 2013 and Alexis Sanchez in 2014, Arsenal fans can be forgiven for expecting to see another marquee signing at the Emirates Stadium this summer. Wenger, who has cut himself as a frugal operator for most of his time in north London, proved he was not afraid to spend big when spending almost £100m on transfers last season.
However, Theo Walcott has thoroughly impressed in the striker role in recent games while Giroud has proven to be an effective target man since arriving in 2012. The two offer a completely different set of skills while Danny Welbeck seems to be a hybrid of the two.
The arrival of Benzema will almost certainly end one of their careers at Arsenal finish and could disrupt what is becoming a tight-knit group. Welbeck and Walcott add to the British core while Giroud has a growing rapport with his fellow attackers.
While Benzema may give Arsenal fans the big name they want, it may serve to harm Arsenal's title chances.
Do Arsenal really need Karim Benzema this season or can they win the title with their current crop of stars? Give us YOUR thoughts in the comment box below!