In Focus: Arsenal presented with chance to sign long-term target

Arsenal have long been attributed with an interest in Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema and a move could materialise next summer, according to Spanish outlet Don Balon.

What’s the story?

Although not the most reliable of reports, Don Balon’s claim that Florentino Perez will use his authority at Real Madrid next summer to reshape Zinedine Zidane’s squad is certainly possible and a new-look side could be created.

Karim Benzema, now 29, could find himself on the way out as Real Madrid consider options to rejuvenate their forward line, with their list of targets including Atletico Madrid star Antoine Griezmann and Juventus’ Argentine sensation Paulo Dybala.

With Marco Asensio and Isco stepping-up to become crucial players for Real Madrid over the course of the past 12 months, the reliability on the likes of Benzema, Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale has significantly decreased- which could lead to changes.

Bale has himself struggled with regular injury problems and could be sold to provide funds for a move next summer, whilst Benzema will likely seek an exit as he won’t want to play second-fiddle and Real Madrid would accept his wishes after years of service that has seen him lift 14 titles in the Santiago Bernabeu.

Is there still a place at Arsenal?

Whilst some may feel the ship has sailed for Benzema and Arsenal due to the summer signing of Alexandre Lacazette, the Gunners still have a desire to rejuvenate their attacking options- especially as it’s highly likely Alexis Sanchez will leave next summer.

Benzema could therefore slot into Arsenal’s line-up as the first-choice striker, with Lacazette dropping behind his compatriot and playing alongside World Cup winner Mesut Ozil- assuming the former Real Madrid man pens a new deal.

Former Lyon man Benzema will turn 31 in December next year, so cannot be seen as a long-term solution for Arsenal, but they may need to strengthen their ranks as Olivier Giroud, who turns 31 this month, may bring an end to his time in North London.

The striker was offered the chance to leave the Emirates Stadium this summer but elected to stay and fight for his spot in the side, scoring a dramatic winner on the opening weekend victory over Leicester City, but has found first-team opportunities limited since.