Karim Benzema to Manchester United: Real Madrid striker's agent spotted holding talks with Ed Woodward ahead of proposed £35m transfer

Benzema has a contract with Real that runs until 2019 but has been linked with a big money move to Manchester United

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The Independent Football

Karim Benzema could be set for a stunning transfer to Manchester United after the Real Madrid striker's agent was seen holding talks with Ed Woodward, the Premier League club's executive vice-chairman.

The Manchester Evening News claims Woodward was spotted alongside Karim Djaziri at The Savoy hotel in London on Wednesday evening. Benzema is currently on holiday in New York after being left out of the France national team due to injury, and the 27-year-old has been linked with a £40m move to Old Trafford this summer.

United manager Louis van Gaal is determined to strengthen his attacking after seeing his strikers struggle last season. Radamel Falcao scored just four goals during his season-long loan that cost the club nearly £20m, and Robin van Persie struggled for form and fitness that has put serious doubts over his future with the club, given he has just a year remaining on his contract.

 

Wayne Rooney finished the season as the club’s top scorer with 14 goals, but his tally stands as United’s lowest top scorer since Frank Stapleton in 1982. The only other option open to Van Gaal is the unproven 19-year-old James Wilson.

Benzema was a transfer target of Sir Alex Ferguson’s back in 2008 when the striker was still with French side Lyon, and the former United manager even handed Benzema a United shirt following the club’s 1-1 draw with the Ligue 1 outfit that season.

However, Real beat United to his signature in 2009 in a £35m deal, and despite constant links with a move to Arsenal over the years, he has remained at the Santiago Bernabeu to score 133 goals in 281 appearances across six seasons that has seen him have to play second fiddle to Cristiano Ronaldo when it comes to taking centre stage.

Benzema agreed a five-year contract last August which runs until 2019, although the recent appointment of Rafael Benitez as successor to Carlo Ancelotti could see a period of upheaval at Real and United could launch a move for the striker as a result.

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Karim Benzema is currently on holiday in New York

Real could even look to use Benzema in their attempts to sign goalkeeper David De Gea, who appears to be their top transfer target this summer.

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