Arsenal

Arsenal transfer: Gunners board target alternative January signing after rejecting Benzema move

Arsenal have turned down the chance to sign Karim Benzema in the January transfer window as they have another target in mind, according to reports.

The Gunners have been extremely quiet in the transfer window so far with no incomings or outgoings at the Emirates Stadium in January.

There have still been plenty of rumours linking players to Arsenal with former Real Madrid striker Benzema one of the latest names to be mooted.

A number of former players and pundits have insisted that Arsenal still need to buy a striker if they are to have a chance of winning the Premier League title this season.

And Arsenal ‘were offered Benzema earlier this month’ with the 2022 Ballon d’Or winner keen to leave Saudi Arabia this month.

After rejecting the opportunity to sign the former France international, Arsenal have ‘considered moving for a versatile defender before next week’s deadline and remain open to doing so’.

Transfer expert Fabrizio Romano has his latest update on Benzema’s future at Al-Ittihad and the reported interest from Arsenal.

Romano wrote in his Caught Offside column: “Keep an eye on Karim Benzema in the final days of the January transfer window – there is nothing concrete or serious with Arsenal at the moment, but if that changes I will let you know.

“For now, my information on his situation at Al Ittihad is that things remain tense, and new meetings have been scheduled between people close to the player and Al Ittihad to try to find a solution.

“Benzema returned to training in recent days, but away from the rest of the group. He’s training alone while things remain tense. Still, it’s difficult for European clubs to sign Benzema for one obvious reason – the financial package. The only way to make it happen is if Benzema accepts an incredible reduction to his salary, otherwise it will be very difficult.

“People in the Saudi Pro League really want Benzema to stay and they are ready to try to find him a solution at another Saudi club. The final say will always be with the player, so let’s see how this will go, but it looks like a big offer will be needed from European clubs, and it might be too big.

Al Shabab are looking for a new striker, so that could be an option for Benzema to stay in Saudi, but we’ll have to see how the conversations will go. As for Europe, I’m hearing there is one man doing everything to sign Benzema and that is John Textor from Lyon. He would love to bring Benzema back to the club as there is a special and historic relationship, but it’s very expensive, so it looks complicated.

“It’s an open situation, and Benzema will be one of the main names to mention in the next days of the transfer market.”

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