Indyplus updates: More reactions to Arsenal's performance


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The Independent Online

In the wake of their 3-0 victory over Fenerbahce that looks to have put them through to their 16th consecutive Champions League group stage, Arsenal have launched a new attempt to sign Real Madrid pair Karim Benzema.

Although the Gunners failed in their attempts to sign Gonzalo Higuain from the same club after the Argentine moved to Napoli, the north Londoners believed that their victory last night will boost their chances of bringing the “high quality” players Arsene Wenger has admitted his squad needs.

Despite Real having a shortage of established strikers at the club following Higuain’s departure, they have high hopes for 20-year-old Alvaro Morata, who who rejected a move to the Gunners’ rivals Tottenham as part of negotiations for the transfer of Gareth Bale.

Cristiano Ronaldo has been used in a striker role before and should the move for Bale transpire, it is expected the Portuguese star will shift to a central role to accommodate their new world-record signing.

It is this reason why Arsenal feel that new manager Carlo Ancelotti will be willing to let Benzema head to the Emirates should the right fee be offered. Wenger has attempted to sign Benzema in the past – most notably last season when the striker was unsettled about his future at the Santiago Bernabeu.

 Wenger is also reported to be hopeful of landing Benzema’s team-mate Di Maria, who was another rumoured to have been offered to Spurs as part of the Bale deal. Di Maria may find his place in the first team in Spain come under threat from Bale’s arrival, with either the Argentinian winger or Mesut Ozil likely to drop to the bench.

DI Maria started Real’s opening La Liga match among the replacements and it appears he will be sacrificed to make way for 24-yar-old Bale, but the promise of regular first team football and the potential to become a key figure in the Gunners attack could tempt him to move to London.

Real Madrid could use the money from a double-sale to go after Wenger’s top transfer target Luis Suarez, after the 63-year-old Frenchman ruled out making another bid for the Liverpool striker.

“(There is) absolutely no chance of that,” Wenger said when asked of another move for Suarez.

Wenger also addressed his midfield, with Mikel Arteta currently out for another five weeks while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain could spend the best part of three months on the sidelines.

“We tried to bring one in, but we are working on that. You have to understand there is still a long way to go,” he admitted.

“The transfer market starts for me now and a lot of activity will happen between now and September 2.”

Wenger was keen to express his belief that for him, the transfer window begins now. With Champions League football seemingly in the bag after a lacklustre Fenerbahce side that on yesterday’s performance won’t get a lot in terms of a result at the Emirates, Wenger believes now is the time to really try and hammer home some big signings.

“From August 21 until September 2 you have 12 days, so a lot will happen. It starts now.

“It is like a poker game. People hold their cards as long as possible and see what is happening out there. In the end, they go for decisions.

“First everybody goes on holiday and nobody wants to do anything, then in many clubs there are manager changes. They need to know the squad before they make a decision. Many, many things, but it is always like that.”