Arsenal resurrect interest in Real Madrid striker Benzema

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is already plotting January arrivals to boost his side’s Premier League title challenge, ESPN has reported, with Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema said to be top of his wanted list.

The Gunners currently top the table and are well placed to reach the knockout rounds of the Champions League but have found themselves lacking an alternative to or back-up for Olivier Giroud, who has played in every game for Arsenal so far this season.

Arsenal suffered only their second league defeat of the campaign on Sunday at Manchester United and the loss has brought the club’s striker shortage to the fore, it is claimed. The Arsenal board will fund a move for a striker and Benzema is Wenger’s preferred option, despite having spurned his compatriot’s advances before.

Benzema will have 18 months to run on his contract by the time the transfer window opens and is understood to be open to moving to the Emirates Stadium. If Madrid refuse to sell – or the former Lyon striker changes his mind – Juventus’ Spain international Fernando Llorente would be Wenger’s fall-back option.

Llorente moved to Turin on a free transfer from Athletic Bilbao this summer while Benzema has been a Real player since July 2009, scoring 79 goals in 163 appearances for the capital city club. He has netted eight times in 16 games for Madrid this season.

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