Arsenal’s interest in Karim Benzema is 100% genuine according to reports from Spain.
The Gunners have been strongly linked with the Real Madrid forward, with the Daily Mail citing claims from Spanish publication AS that £50m has been set aside to secure his signature.
And now Spanish transfer pundit David Alonso has confirmed that Arsene Wenger does have a huge kitty in place should he want a world-class striker, and that Benzema is definitely at the top of his wish-list.
The Metro quote Alonso as telling Cadena SER radio: “In Benzema’s case, the interest is 100% real.
“We can confirm that Arsenal are looking for a number 9, that they have a lot of money to buy him and that their priority is Karim Benzema. Wenger is ready to invest €60m (£41.9m) to to buy a star.”
The news comes after Wenger distanced himself from the Benzema rumours in the aftermath of Arsenal’s 1-0 Community Shield triumph over London rivals Chelsea last Sunday.
The Frenchman is quoted by Arsenal’s official website as saying: “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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While Arsenal landed a pre-season blow on the reigning Premier League champions at Wembley, they still appear to be light up front if they plan to mount a serious challenge for their first title since 2004.
Although Olivier Giroud managed 14 goals in 27 league games spearheading the Gunners’ attack last term, the Frenchman has yet to hit the 20 mark in his three seasons at the Emirates Stadium.
No team has won the Premier League without their top scorer finding the net at least 20 times since Manchester United in the 2008-09 campaign, suggesting that Arsenal need to find an alternative.
Theo Walcott has been given opportunities through the middle in pre-season, but it was evident in his Community Shield performance that he does not have the physical presence to be a lone forward.
Benzema is not only stronger and more combative than Walcott, but more mobile and prolific than compatriot Giroud. The below goal is one of 22 that the France international managed last season.
The 27-year-old would perfectly balance Arsenal’s front-line. With him, they could be champions of England.
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