Liverpool strike target Karim Benzema has reportedly emerged on the radar of Arsenal.
The Real Madrid forward has been coveted by a string of top European clubs in recent months after a troubled spell with the La Liga giants, and Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger now appears to be in the driving seat as reports suggest the Spaniards will offer the player in a part exchange deal for Gael Clichy.
Jose Mourinho is reportedly keen on the Gunners full back, with 'the special one's' interest stemming back from his time as Chelsea manager.
President Florentino Perez has reportedly given the go-ahead to a player-plus-cash deal with Arsenal, and the Daily Mirror claims Los Blancos will offer the €32 million hitman as bait to the Emirates outfit.
Liverpool have been heavily linked with the former Lyon forward in recent weeks, with Roy Hodgson considering the French international as an attacking foil for Fernando Torres at Anfield.
The potential move has gained support from former players and fans, with ex-Liverpool midfielder Jamie Redknapp writing about the scenario in his Daily Mail column.
“Liverpool need a striker and they should look no further than Karim Benzema. The new Anfield owners have their first challenge: sign him."
However, reports in European publication Mediaset at the start of this month claimed that Arsenal made the player their number one target, with Wenger looking to spend some of the club's bumper profits on the player.
The emergence of Kieran Gibbs as a legitimate first team player for Arsenal means that Clichy could be 'replaced' automatically, and would also mean that the north London club wouldn't have to meet the player's high valuation.
Liverpool were thought to be ready to pay a high price for the player's services, meeting the valuation after the cash injection provided by new owners NESV.
It appears that the Gunners now lead the race for the player, although Liverpool could still put up a fight for the player's signature with the New Year just around the corner.
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