Arsenal Transfer News: Gooners Shouldn't Get Hopes Up on Karim Benzema
After losing out to Napoli on Gonzalo Higuain, the Gunners have again turned their attention to the Santiago Bernabeu for a striker—this time going after Karim Benzema. Unfortunately for Arsene Wenger, his pursuit of Luis Suarez has cost him the opportunity to add another top striker this summer.
The Frenchman conceded that any deal to sign Benzema hinges on outside factors.
"That's part of the fact you need three agreements for anybody. It's true that it is sometimes connected with other clubs. But we have to accept that," Wenger told The Guardian's David Hytner.
What Wenger seems to be alluding to is Madrid getting Luis Suarez before the transfer window closes, which would open up the chance for Benzema moving to the Emirates.
Los Blancos aren't going to sell Benzema without first finding his replacement. They're not leaving open the possibility of Jese and Alvaro Morata being the best centre-forward options going into the season.
The problem is Liverpool have not wavered in their stance that Suarez isn't for sale. Earlier in the summer, it seemed like that claim was just a ploy to get interest from foreign clubs.
However, Brendan Rodgers told The Guardian's Andy Hunter that selling the Uruguayan is unlikely with so little time left in the transfer window.
It's very difficult at this time [for a Suárez bid to succeed]. We are trying to get one or two more quality players in through the door. If we lose Luis at this stage it would be difficult to replace him. There might have been a point a few months ago where there was time to do it but with 11 days to go it would be difficult to replace him.
Considering a Benzema-to-Arsenal deal hinges on Suarez leaving Anfield, Gooners should come to the realization—if they haven't already—that the 25-year-old forward is not a realistic option.
There's no doubting that, if Real Madrid offered £50-60 million for Suarez, Liverpool would likely be willing to make the move. However, it's hard to see where the Spanish club would find the funds.
According to The Telegraph's Pete Jenson, Gareth Bale is poised to make an £85 million move to the Bernabeu. That's after Isco, Daniel Carvajal and Asier Illarramendi made the move to Madrid for a combined £63.5 million—£23 million for Isco, £6.5 million for Carvajal and £34 million for Illarramendi.
Where they could possibly find an extra £50-60 is anybody's guess. Real Madrid are one of the biggest clubs in the world, but even they have their limit when it comes to summer spending.
Even putting aside the machinations that must happen to make the deal happen, as a supporter you need almost zero faith in Wenger and Ivan Gazidis right now when it comes to the transfer market.
Arsenal have the money to buy just about any player in the world. Gazidis revealed to The Telegraph's Jeremy Wilson that the club had £70 million to spend in the summer and wouldn't have a problem spending £25 million and offering £200,000 a week to a player.
Superb football finance blog The Swiss Ramble also tried to crunch the numbers to determine exactly how much money was available to Arsenal. The sum came to a whopping £154 million.
Wenger and Gazidis are either extremely principled in their belief of not overpaying for players or they're simply too incompetent to get any deals done. Whatever the explanation, something needs to change.
Just don't be looking to Benzema to be that engine of change.
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