Arsenal fans genuinely thought they had a shot at signing Karim Benzema this summer. All they had to do was throw £45million at Real Madrid and the rest would simply fall into place.
But it was all a ruse, created out of thin air in an attempt to keep the Gunners faithful reading transfer news when in actual fact the Emirates chequebook was sitting on its own gathering dust.
Even if they had launched a club record bid in the direction of the Spanish capital, the striker himself had no intention of packing his bags and joining his former team-mate Mesut Ozil in north London.
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Now, Benzema has not only confirmed that he never considered swapping Real Madrid for Arsenal but found the ludicrous nature of the rumours laughable.
Asked by Journal du Dimanche if he considered the switch, the France international responded: "Never."
"I laugh about it with my brother and my friends. We wait for the media to come out with these rumours. In my opinion, I think that Real and Barca are the pinnacle in football. Why would I leave? "I'm a starter for the best club in the world. I am happy; it's that simple."
Arsenal's need for a striker
In many ways, the signing of Benzema would have been a significant risk for Wenger and Arsenal. He would have cost an astronomical fee, yet came with no proof that he could cut it in the Premier League.
The same could be said of both Ozil and Alexis Sanchez, but they were both 25 years old when they arrived in north London. Benzema, in comparison, is 27. Had he failed to shine or settle in England, his sell-on value would have been significantly less than anything Arsenal paid for him.
Anyway, the Gunners are hardly failing to fire at the moment, scoring 11 goals in their last three Premier League games. With Alexis Sanchez and Theo Walcott both impressing up front and Olivier Giroud continuing to chip in, maybe Wenger was right not to sign a striker.
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