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Arsenal Eye Cut-Price £30m January Swoop For Coveted La Liga Striker

North Londoners want support for first-choice forward Giroud at the Emirates after Christmas. 

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Arsenal head coach Arsene Wenger is set to step up his attempts to sign unsettled Real Madrid front man Karim Benzema as soon as the winter transfer window opens once again for business for the year in January.

The Frenchman recently held top-level discussions with the Gunners’ American owner ‘Silent’ Stan Kroenke and chief executive Ivan Gazidis about what the north London club’s transfer strategy should be at the turn of the year.

Prior to the start of the new campaign, it is understood that Wenger was reluctant to spend big again in the new year after having just splashed out a whopping £42.4 million in order to bring coveted attacking midfield player Mesut Ozil to the Emirates from Spanish giants Real Madrid in a club-record deal.

However, with the club having since made such an eye-catching start to the new season, it is understood that Wenger has now changed his mind, as he sees the possibility of finally brining an end to Arsenal’s eight-year search for a trophy.

Those closest to the 63-year-old claim that he now has a new spring in his step, and looks so energetic and re-energised after years of being in the doldrums as he sought to bring some much-needed silverware to the Gunners trophy cabinet.

But by all accounts the arrival of Germany playmaker Ozil has now breathed new life into Wenger himself, but also the team, who currently sit top of both the Premier League, as well as their Uefa Champions League group as well after the opening two rounds of matches in Europe’s premier club competition this season.

And with there now being a very real possibility of claiming some honours, Wenger is believed to be determined not to let his best chance of winning the Premier League for the first time since 2004 slip through his grasp due a shortage of numbers in attack at the Emirates.

In  particular, it is thought that Wenger is most concerned about losing in-form striker Olivier Giroud to injury, especially with the club’s chronic lack of alternatives up front for the prolific France international.

So far since the start of the new season, Giroud has managed to hit the back of the net on six occasions in total in his ten matches in all competitions, four of which have come in the Premier League, and all in the opening four encounters of the campaign too.

However, with Morocco international forward Marouane Chamakh having been loaned out to fellow Premier League outfit Crystal Palace and Russia international forward Andrey Arshavin having also been sold back to Zenit St Petersburg in June, Wenger only has misfiring Danish attacker Nicklas Bendtner to act as cover should an injury befall Giroud.

And that is why the Gunners boss has now asked Kroenke and Gazidis to support him financially in the market as he attempts to persuade Madrid to sell him Benzema in the January transfer window.

In the north Londoners’ favour is the fact that los Blancos are themselves also trying to sign a new centre forward come the turn of the year, with the Spanish giants hoping to be able to lure controversial Liverpool forward Luis Suarez to the Santiago Bernabeu for a fee of £5om.

But Wenger and Co’s hopes of being successful in their own efforts to prize Benzema away from the Spanish capital may very well hinge on whether or not Madrid are capable of landing Suarez in January to replace their own France international.

However, if as seems likely the Uruguay front man does quit Anfield in the new year to move to Real, then it will clear the path for Wenger to swoop for Benzema, a player whose career the Arsenal coach has followed closely for years.

In fact, Wenger has tried to buying Benzema on a number of occasions in the past, and came closest to signing the 25-year-old back in the summer of 2009 when the player finally decided to leave Ligue 1 giants Olympique Lyonnais, only for the Frenchman to spurn his compatriot’s advances and instead move to Madrid for an initial fee of 35m euros.

Benzema’s current contract with Real now only runs until June 2015 and after four years at the world’s biggest club, both parties have privately agreed that a parting of the ways, either in January or at the end of this season, will be the best course of action.

And as a result, it is not expected that Benzema will cost the Gunners much more than £30m to sign due to the forward having just 18 months left to run on his present deal at the Bernabeu, which would represent quite a transfer coup by Arsenal for a striker who has managed to find the back of the net on 91 occasions in total in just his 192 appearances in all competitions to date for los Blancos.

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