• Premier League

Arsenal linked with Benzema move

ESPN staff
May 15, 2014
Dein backs Wenger to end trophy drought

Arsenal have been linked with a £30 million move for Real Madrid's Karim Benzema as Arsene Wenger looks to bolster his attack with a world-class striker.

According to the Daily Mail and the Daily Telegraph, Arsenal will check on Benzema's availability after the Champions League final on May 24.

Wenger holds a long-standing interest in his compatriot having failed to sign the Frenchman in the last two summers and Benzema has just 12 months left on his contract at the Bernabeu, which could play into Arsenal's hands if it persuades the Spanish club to sell.

Karim Benzema has just 12 months remaining on his contract at Real Madrid © Getty Images

Real are reportedly interested in pursuing Luis Suarez, though the Liverpool striker insists there is no clause in his contract providing a route for him to sign for them or Barcelona and has said he will stay at Anfield.

Selling Benzema would help raise funds for Real to try to convince Liverpool to sell PFA Player of the Year Suarez, who scored 31 Premier League goals this season.

Arsenal are believed to have asked after Benzema last summer when they signed Mesut Ozil from Real for £42.5m, though the Spanish club were reluctant to sell then with Gonzalo Higuain having already been transferred to Napoli.

Benzema, 26, wasn't keen to follow Ozil to the Emirates Stadium at that time either, but Wenger will test the waters following Real's showdown with Atletico Madrid in Lisbon a week on Saturday (May 24).

Wenger is also thought to be interested in Mario Mandzukic, who could be tempted to leave Bayern Munich with Bundesliga top scorer Robert Lewandowski joining the club on a free in the summer from Borussia Dortmund.

Arsenal have relied heavily on Olivier Giroud this season, the striker scoring 22 goals in all competitions, and the manager has conceded he needs greater firepower.

However, Wenger has refused to confirm whether Giroud, who is set to play second fiddle to Benzema for France at the World Cup, will start Saturday's FA Cup final against Hull ahead of Yaya Sanogo, who has been preferred in the last three rounds of the competition.

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