He may have contributed to getting Madrid out of jail at Cordoba over the weekend but Karim Benzema does not have a lot of appreciation amongst the high ranking officials at the Bernabeu as signals of a potential exit in the summer remain strong.
Word from the Daily Star is that the 26-year old French striker could yet be offloaded in the coming summer when Madrid will look to revamp their forward line. A resplendent end to a glorious 2014 has been followed by a ragged start to the New Year and while Ronaldo and Bale are clearly untouchables, Benzema has often been the scape goat though his performances have usually been as good as, and even sometimes better, than both.
He won’t look too long for where to go though as Arsenal and United are part of a long queue waiting for him the day he quits life in La Liga. Both clubs had huge interest in him before he followed a £30m move from Lyon in 2009, scoring a sumptuous 81 League goals since.
A La Liga trophy under Mourinho in 2012 and last season’s Champions League are the highlights of his time there so far but those who make the decisions at Madrid seem lost in darkness as to whether he could still don their whites beyond the current campaign.
The departure of three forwards on loan this window has stirred the conversations amongst Arsenal fans as to Wenger’s plans for the coming weeks. Certain names, not exactly stellar, have been mooted as possibly arriving the Emirates within the final week of this window but perhaps it is for the summer that Wenger has undertaken this clear out, and given his admiration for Benzema, it would seem one adds to one here.
He is still amongst the best in the world in that Number 9 role, if not the best at the moment. United would love to push Arsenal to the wall for him as James Wilson looks the best of their striking trio with Falcao and van Persie gradually slipping into the twilight of their careers. Sir Alex Ferguson was close to landing him back in 2009 especially after repeatedly being on the verge of exiting the Champions League at Lyon’s hands. He is no longer in charge, though, and Wenger’s rapport with French players could now see Arsenal hold more of the aces.
One big caveat in the way of this happening though would be that Madrid must be plotting to recruit one big striker in the summer and unless they do, they may actually still hold on to him. But the Premier League duo could start making budgets, for the present.
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