LNTUP

Karim Benzema considering Bernabeu exit

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Karim Benzema may leave Real Madrid this summer as Arsenal appears to be the most likely destination.

France and Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema has become increasingly frustrated with life at the Bernabeu. He has attracted a lot of criticism from the supporters’ section this season owing to his poor form. He was again booed by the fans during Madrid’s 2-1 win over Valencia last matchday.

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Benzema has scored only 17 goals in 42 games this season with the second choice striker Alvaro Morata has 19 goals in his tally despite playing almost half of the minutes Benzema played. With Ronaldo and Bale constantly producing match-winning performances, Benzema’s lack of goals going forward is a big concern for the Los Blancos. Benzema is well-aware of such criticism and now considering a move away from the Bernabeu.

Spanish outlet Don Balon claims that Arsenal boss Wenger wants Benzema and ready to make him the highest paid player at the Emirates by doubling his current £150,000 a week wage. A major shake-up is expected at Arsenal this season with many of the players leaving due to continuous poor performances of the club and lack of silverware. The possibility of missing out on a Champions League place next season has just been the icing on the cake.

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Arsenal’s forward line has been poor throughout this season. Lucas Perez didn’t produce anything special and he is expected to leave in search of regular first-team action. Olivier Giroud and Danny Welbeck produced a string of abysmal performances.

Their only star performer has been Alexis Sanchez but he is expected to leave too after publicly vented his frustration over Arsenal’s lack of desire for silverware. Wenger has identified Benzema as the perfect man to replace Sanchez.

Wenger is a known admirer of the 29-year-old former Lyon hitman. Arsenal have been heavily linked with Benzema over the last couple of transfer windows. So the deal makes sense for both the parties.

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Arsenal are not the only team after Benzema though. It’s been reported that Chinese Super League club Tianjin Quanjian made a 3-man shortlist which includes Benzema, Diego Costa and Edinson Cavani. They are ready to splash the cash to make one of them their marquee signing.

Reports in Spain also suggest that Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho wants Benzema to replace injured Zlatan Ibrahimovic at the Old Trafford. Real have offered Benzema as part of a swap deal which will see David de Gea moving on the other side. Mourinho and Benzema knew each-other from their time together at the Bernabeu. It would be of little surprise if the deal goes through.

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The French international who has 27 goals in 81 matches for his national team wouldn’t come cheap though. Any potential suitors need to fork out around £50m for Benzema’s services.