The rumour has been so long-running that its become a joke among supporters but this time Arsenal might finally get their man. Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema, 29, could be leaving the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu next summer with the reigning Spanish champions set to bid for Antoine Griezmann, 26.
Both Don Balon and Marca claim Benzema is likely to be the casualty as Real president Florentino Perez seeks to overhaul his ageing attack next summer. His major targets are Griezmann – an unlikely signing from city rivals Atletico – and Juventus’ Paolo Dybala, 26.
The current BBC trio of Gareth Bale, 29, Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo, 32, are all heavily-linked with moves away from La Liga. Bale and Ronaldo were both courted by Manchester United during the last transfer window with Perez reluctant to sell the latter so offering Jose Mourinho the former.
Bale admiited that he thought long and hard about joining United but turned down the move as he wanted one more season in Madrid. The Bernabeu crowd jeered the Welsh international during the recent 2 – 2 draw with Valencia.
But it’s Benzema’s availability which has sent Arsenal into overdrive. Arsene Wenger is a long-time admirer of his compatriot and despite signing Alexandre Lacazette, 26, for a club-record £52m, would not turn down the chance to sign the older striker as he looks to replace a host of players who are set to leave the Emirates on free transfers in 2018.
The Gunners were listening to offers for Olivier Giroud last summer and but his wife’s objection, the French international would have joined Everton in July. Next year, it seems likely he will be the first out of the door if Benzema is signed.