According to Diario Gol, Real Madrid president Florentino Perez is ‘on the ropes’ as Los Blancos are desperate to cash in on Karim Benzema. The 30-year-old has been linked with a £71m move to the Chinese Super League but has reportedly turn down their interest as he wants to stay in Europe.
His form has been poor this season, scoring just four goals in 22 La Liga games, and Real are expected to sign a top centre-forward this summer to replace him. Perez wants to sell Benzema while his value is still high to help fund a replacement, but no European clubs are biting at the £53m asking price.
Arsenal have been linked with Benzema for many years and are named as a potential saving grace for Real. However, the Gunners won’t spend more than £35m for the French international, although their current striker options are likely to rule them out of the race entirely – Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette and Danny Welbeck.
Diario Gol suggest the struggles of Lacazette in his debut season at the Emirates Stadium could see Arsenal open to bringing in a replacement, but there’s little value in signing Benzema given his form and the fact he turns 31 later this year.
The striker’s demand to play for a top European side limits his options as only China have lodged a bid. Perez could offer the £150k-per-week star out heavily this summer to ensure he can at least make back what the club paid in 2009 – £36m from Olympique Lyonnais.