Arsenal can still strike a deal for Karim Benzema this summer if the French international clearly states a desire to move to the Emirates Stadium, according to Spanish football expert Graham Hunter.
The journalist cites Real Madrid’s need for cash as the main factor in Los Blancos being ready to do a deal, but insists that Florentino Perez and the powers that be at the Santiago Bernabeu are not on a mission to get rid of one of their best players.
Hunter on Benzema
Rather it’s said that Benzema will have to ask to leave the club if he wants to make a move, with it being reported yesterday that Real will hold out for around £45million for his signature.
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“They are 500million euros in global debt, they are trying to buy David De Gea and won’t go the extra mile to get him off Manchester United because of the cash, so they need the money. And because Rafa Benitez will play 4-2-3-1 there is one less place for an attacking player than there was last season," Hunter said to talkSPORT.
“It is a doable deal, but it won’t happen unless Benzema says to Real Madrid: ‘I want to go to Arsenal’.”
If true it throws the saga into an interesting realm of possibility, with Arsenal having money to spend and an obvious hole up front for a natural goalscorer that Benzema could slot straight into.
On top of that competition for places at Real is going to be fierce under Rafael Benitez, and as Cristiano Ronaldo gets older it’s assumed he will be moved into a more central striking role, potentially making Benzema a redundant asset.
That said the Frenchman is a fan favourite in Madrid and has consistently scored important goals for the club in the past few season.
As Real are under no pressure to sell they’ll hold out for maximum compensation, though one gets the feeling Arsene Wenger would pay the required fee if Benzema made it clear he wanted to move.
Benzema's big decision
So, all eyes on Benzema then. The 27-year-old is certainly the world-class striker Gunners fans are hoping to see arrive in a bid to propel their club towards the Premier League title, but will he want to leave the bright lights of Real and all the stardom that comes with it in order to link up with former teammate Mesut Ozil in north London?
It looks very much as being a case of ‘only time will tell’, but since Real’s season doesn’t kick off until August 23 there’s no immediate hurry to get a deal done from their point of view.
Arsenal fans, do you think Benzema will end up at the Emirates Stadium this summer? Let us know what you think to the speculation in the comments box below.