Arsenal and Liverpool are reportedly interested in landing Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema in the summer transfer window.
According to Fernando Rodrigo of Spanish media outlet Diario Gol, Premier League duo Arsenal and Liverpool are looking to secure the signing of Real Madrid attacker Karim Benzema in the summer.
The French striker has been somewhat synonymous with the Los Blancos first team since moving from Ligue 1 side Lyon in 2009. Benzema has been clinical in front of goal, and has earned praise for his glowing performances for the capital outfit.
Even this past season, the former Lyon talisman played a pivotal role in guiding Real to a Champions League and La Liga double as he shared the rock in offence with the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Alvaro Morata and Gareth Bale.
In 23 league starts, Benzema found the back of net on 11 occasions and provided another five assists. His performances in the Champions League were also equally impressive as he nearly averaged a goal every other game for Los Blancos.
Diario Gol report that Zinedine Zidane and members of the Real Madrid hierarchy value the Frenchman highly, but he is commanding more respect from them. Benzema has demanded a hike in his salary from club president Florentino Perez, and could be on his way out if his asking rate isn’t matched.
The 29-year-old could thus, be on his way out of the Santiago Bernabeu after being strongly linked with a move to Arsenal. Gunners manager Arsene Wenger has been looking for an upgrade on Olivier Giroud, and Benzema fits the bill for the Frenchman.
In fact, when Alexis Sanchez’s future looked in real jeopardy in March, Real were looking to capitalise on it by weighing in with an offer for the former Barcelona star, with Benzema moving the other way in a swap deal.
A month later, reports emerged that Benzema was considering a move to the Emirates Stadium as the North London club were willing to double his wages. Should Arsenal’s interest in Alexandre Lacazette dwindle, they may swoop in with another offer for the Real attacker.
It is understood that Liverpool are also looking to capitalise on Benzema’s uncertain future at the Spanish capital, and are looking to offer him an exit route. Jurgen Klopp’s side has been bereft of a quality out-and-out number nine this past season, and Benzema is considered as an option to lead the line.
That being said, Klopp expects even his attacking players to put in a defensive shift, chasing down fifty-fifty balls and seemingly lost causes to mount added pressure on the opposition defenders.
Benzema isn’t the most mobile of centre forwards, and could struggle to cope with Klopp’s high intensity style at Anfield. The Frenchman is suited to a more indirect way of play where the players around him create chances and he applies the finishing touches.
There is also doubt whether Real will be willing to let go of two strikers in the same window as Alvaro Morata appears to be nearing in on a switch to Manchester United. Perez is expected to have a sit down with Benzema, and is likely to convince him to sign an extension at the club.