The Gunners have been linked with a move for Real Madrid star Karim Benzema, with club officials apparently flying out to Spain to negotiate a £35 million deal [Daily Star]. The 27-year-old scored 22 goals in 47 appearances for Los Merengues last season, and could be the perfect man to bolster their striking options.
Wenger even admitted that attack is an area that isn’t yet at full strength due to fitness problems in his squad.
“At the moment we do not have [Alexis] Sanchez, not [Danny] Welbeck, and when these players come back we feel that we have the needed striking force,” Wenger said, “but we don’t rule out as well if something exceptional turns up to do it.”
Currently the North Londoners have Olivier Giroud, Theo Walcott, the aforementioned Welbeck, and Joel Campbell to choose from for the centre-forward role. However, the quartet do not match up to the options their Premier League title rivals possess, with Chelsea having Diego Costa and Manchester City having Sergio Aguero in their ranks, among a plethora of other options.
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With the experience of winning the Champions League and La Liga, Benzema could be perfect to help Wenger end his 11-year run without winning the top flight. The 65-year-old has already brought title-winning experience into his squad this summer with the addition of Petr Cech from Chelsea, and the Frenchman could be exactly what he is on the lookout for.
Benzema is not the only striker that Arsenal have been linked to, however, with Juventus star Fernando Llorente also a target, according to Tuttosport [via Daily Express]. The 30-year-old would be a less inspiring arrival than the Real Madrid man, but his ability to hold the ball up and bring others in to play could be just as useful to the Gunners’ style of play.