London-based club Arsenal will bid a record transfer fee for Real Madrid and France striker Karim Benzema this week, according to The Independent.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has been given the green light to make an offer for Benzema, which is expected to be more than the £42.5m paid for Mesut Ozil – also from Real Madrid – back in 2013. This is the current Arsenal transfer record.
Benzema, 27, a lethal finisher in the box, has scored 214 goals in 449 club appearances for Lyon and Real Madrid, in all competitions. He has been capped by France 76 times, scoring 25 goals.
Benzema has been at the center of transfer speculation all summer as reported by The Inquisitr. This is not the first time Arsenal have been interested in the prolific French striker, who has been linked with the club for the past two seasons. Wenger, a fellow Frenchman, is a huge admirer of the player.
As reported by the BBC, Wenger was rumoured to have enough money to buy “almost any player,” which the manager has denied. This follows a number of seasons with minimal silverware and limited transfer spending, which has been restricted by financial commitments to Arsenal’s new home, The Emirates Stadium.
The transfer window closes on 1 September.
Arsenal have met criticism in recent years for not spending money in order to compete with rival clubs Manchester United, Chelsea, Manchester City, and Liverpool. Three of the four have won Premier League titles multiple times in their top flight tenures, with Liverpool coming close two seasons ago.
Wenger has expressed his desire to expand his squad. Arsenal’s only other signing this season, Petr Cech – signed from Chelsea for £11m – played a major part in Arsenal’s 2-0 defeat to West Ham during their Premier League season opener on Sunday. The goalkeeper misjudged a free kick before watching his defense gift West Ham player Mauro Zarate a 20-yard goal.
Speaking to The Independent, Arsene Wenger commented in their poor start.
“I haven’t spoken to Cech. The first goal was a defensive lapse – a collective lapse. The concentration maybe was not completely there on the set-piece, the organisation was not perfect. We were too far from our goal. We gave him too much distance to run into. We killed ourselves.
“With the experience we have in our team, it’s difficult to understand. I can’t see many individual convincing performances today so it’s difficult to single one out.Our passing was not incisive enough. Today we have to look at ourselves. We were not good enough.”
Arsenal have won the Premier League three times – in 97-98, 01-02 and 03/04 – and their fans are desperate to reach that echelon again. They also hold the record for most F.A. Cup wins at 12.
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