Arsenal are closing in on the signing of Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema after having a bid accepted by the Spanish side, reports the Telegraph.
The Gunners have been linked with the Frenchman for the majority of the summer, but finally appear to be close to getting their man.
The news comes as per former footballer Rodney Marsh, who revealed an unnamed source had informed him that Arsene Wenger had lodged a £48 million bid for the world-class forward.
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Despite not naming the source, failing to indicate any grounds of faith in his claim, Marsh said: "I had a phone call from a mate of mine and he said that he believes Real Madrid have accepted a bid somewhere in the region of £48 million for Benzema from Arsenal.
"In the past this guy has always been right - he’s never been wrong yet - so we’ll have to wait and see."
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Far from the most trusted of sources, it's unlikely that Marsh's claim will be taken too seriously, though there is a growing feeling that a big signing will soon come out of the Emirates due to their relatively quiet transfer window so far.
And Benzema to Arsenal would make perfect sense, given the north London side's need for a world-class striker and Benzema's role in Rafael Benitez's side seemingly at threat due to the Spaniard's inclining to play one of Cristiano Ronaldo or Gareth Bale in a central position.
Issues remain, however, as to what the future would hold for current striker Olivier Giroud should his countryman make the move to London, with the Frenchman likely to play second fiddle to Benzema due to the difference in class.
Giroud signed for Arsenal three years ago in 2012 and has since scored 42 goals in 99 appearances - a respectable return for a Premier League striker - though the towering striker's lack of pace and inconsistency ultimately means he is not credited with the tag of world-class.
A move for Benzema is likely, then, and such is the attraction that Arsenal now seem to hold for the world's best players - Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil epitomising this - that we could well soon see an already talented front line bolstered by one of the world's most clinical goalscorers.
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