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Man United transfer news: Spanish giants want £22.1m Chelsea target; clears the way for Karim Benzema departure

Reports in Italy suggest that Rafael Benitez has asked Real Madrid president Florentino Perez to go out and sign Inter Milan striker Mauro Icardi.

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Sport Mediaset [via AS] claim that the new Bernabeu boss has identified Icardi as a key component of his plans in the Spanish capital, and has asked Perez to recruit the 22-year-old.

The striker bagged 22 goals in 36 appearances for Inter last season in Serie A, and also made outings in the Coppa Italia and the Europa League.

While the fallen giants of the domestic game are in the middle of a particularly lean period in their history, Icardi has been a shining light and will surely be considered by coach Roberto Mancini as a key figure in the club’s future.

However, interest from Real –who sit at the top of the European food chain—makes a departure a considerable possibility.

Icardi would certainly appear to be a better option for the Merengues than Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez. The 27-year-old Mexican spent last season on loan at the Bernabeu but managed only seven starts in La Liga, scoring eight goals in 29 appearances overall for Carlo Ancelotti’s side.

His arrival could also see France international Karim Benzema pushed towards the exit door.

The former Olympique Lyonnais hitman’s place in the Real first team looks uncertain after Benitez revealed his intention to employ Cristiano Ronaldo as a No. 9 next season [Daily Mail].

Similarly, the arrival of Icardi may well open the door for the world-class poacher to leave the club altogether, with United heavily linked with a move [Manchester Evening News].

Real may not have it all their own way with regards to the acquisition of Icardi, with Chelsea also rumoured to be keen on the Rosario-born former-Barcelona prospect. The Metro reported that the Pensioners were willing to pay £22.1 million to sign the Argentine hitman.