The agent of Real Madrid star Karim Benzema has met with Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward with speculation mounting that the Red Devils are closing in on a move for the France international.
According to the Manchester Evening News, the player’s representative Karim Djaziri met with Woodward at The Savoy hotel in central London on Wednesday evening.
It is believed that the subject of their meeting was the future of 27-year-old Benzema. The Real hitman is currently on holiday in New York following the end of the Merengeues’ disappointing campaign.
MEN speculate that United would propose a fee of £40 million for the striker.
The striker managed 15 goals in 29 outings in La Liga this term, as well as six efforts in nine appearances in the Champions League. However, Benzema’s contributions were not enough to help Real achieve the glory craved by club president Florentino Perez.
Their failure ultimately led to Carlo Ancelotti paying for his job after failing to bring the Spanish title back to the Bernabeu or to retain the European Cup he won last season.
His replacement, former Napoli and Liverpool coach Rafael Benitez, has indicated that he wants to install Cristiano Ronaldo as Real’s centre forward [AS via the Daily Mail], making it hard to see where Benzema would fit in at Real next season.
Despite being under contract until 2019, it’s not unfeasible that the French star will leave Spain this season. He could be used as a makeweight in a deal to bring David De Gea to La Liga—with the Spanish giants having been closely linked with the international stopper [via the Daily Mail].
Van Gaal has already had one transfer offer rejected by Real this summer when his bid of £110 million for the pair of Gareth Bale and Rafael Varane was turned down according to the Telegraph.
It may be that United are preparing to give Benzema a route out of Madrid, with Woodward’s meeting with the agent indicating that the Red Devils are considering the poacher. Sir Alex Ferguson had previously considered making a move for the striker during his time with Olympique Lyonnais according to the MEN.
United appear keen to reinforce their offensive options this season following several disappointing contributions last term.
Radamel Falcao was not kept on after scoring only four goals in his season on loan from AS Monaco according to the club’s official website, while Robin van Persie has been linked with a move to Italy [via the Daily Star], following his underwhelming season. The Dutch forward has admitted that he is finding his current situation at the club both ‘difficult’ and ‘strange’, according to ESPN.
Memphis Depay has been signed from PSV [ManUtd.com], but more reinforcements are needed if United are to challenge for the Premier League crown once again.