Arsenal could resume their attempt to sign Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema to strengthen their Premier League title campaign as manager Arsene Wenger continues his attempts to bring in a new striker.
Having smashed their club record transfer fee with the summer deadline day signing of Mesut Ozil from the same club, Arsenal have emerged as the early frontrunners despite Sunday’s defeat to rivals Manchester United.
One weakness that has been identified in the squad though is the lack of options in attack, with Olivier Giroud starting every Premier League game so far this season as Wenger is reluctant to give his other options a run-out in Nicklas Bendtner and Yaya Sanogo.
Benzema is said to be open to a move away from the Santiago Bernabeu having snubbed a move to London in the summer. Having originally demanded up to £40m to sign the France international, Real officials are now said to be happy for Benzema to leave for a snip of the price at around £15m, with their interest in Liverpool striker Luis Suarez dependent on extra funding being brought in before a bid can materialise.
With 18 months left on his contract, Benzema will be deeply concerned with where his future lies, having experienced a turbulent reception from the home fans after he has scored eight goals in 18 appearances.
Despite the moderately good return, fans are frustrated that Benzema can be largely inconsistent in comparison to the free-scoring Cristiano Ronaldo, who has already stuck 26 times in 19 appearances this season.
Ozil could be used by Wenger in an attempt to persuade his former team-mate to join him at the north London club, while the Gunners’ French internationals Olivier Giroud, Laurent Koscielny and Bacary Sagna could use the upcoming international break to speak to Benzema directly about life at Arsenal.
Wenger has seen a move for Juventus striker Fernando Llorente take a backwards step after the Italian club confirmed the Spaniard will not be leaving Turin in January, although he could still revive attempts to sign the 28-year-old at the end of the season.
A move for Suarez, who was the subject of a rejected £40m plus £1 bid from Wenger in the summer, appears unlikely although he would not be cup-tied for the Champions League – something that both Benzema and Llorente would be until next season.
Another option for Wenger is the current Newcastle striker Loic Remy, who is on-loan with the Magpies from Championship side Queens Park Rangers. Remy would be available to play in Europe immediately should a deal be agreed that would see his time in the north-east come to a premature end, and his seven goals in nine games has caught the eye of the top clubs in Europe who are looking to strengthen midseason.