Pointing his way to the Madrid exit door? Will Real striker Benzema still be at the Bernabeu next year?
With now just a fortnight to go until the winter transfer window opens for business across the continent, we are here to bring you all the latest news and gossip regarding Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema.
The coveted France international’s future at the Santiago Bernabeu has been in doubt for some time now, with Premier League leaders Arsenal in particular having been heavily linked with the 25-year-old in the past.
However, with Benzema a firm favourite of los Blancos president Florentino Perez and the Liga giants hardly blessed with alternative strikers in the Spanish capital, Madrid may need to buy a forward of their own first before allowing any interested parties to move for the marksman.
What is for sure is that there is going to be plenty of rumour and speculation regarding Benzema between now and when the window slams shut at the end of January.
Do not worry about missing any of it, as we will bring you every story about the Frenchman here.
—LAST UPDATE: Monday, December 16 —
Monday, December 16
According to Spanish sports daily El Mundo Deportivo, Real Madrid have decided that they will refuse to sanction front man Karim Benzema’s much-talked about move to Premier League leaders Arsenal when the winter transfer window opens again for business in January.
The paper claims that while the north London club are still keen to lure the France international to the Emirates next month to help ease the burden on compatriot Olivier Giroud in attack in the second half of this campaign, los Blancos have no intention whatsoever of allowing their only experienced out-and-out striker to join the Gunners.
And the publication also goes on to say that Benzema’s future at the Santiago Bernabeu will be settled once and for all next summer, by which point the 25-year-old will have just a year left to run on his current deal in the Spanish capital, with Madrid set to either offload the player at the end of the season, or instead offer him a contract extension.
Thursday, December 12
Ligue 1 giants Paris Saint-Germain and AS Monaco will both go head to head to sign Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema when the January transfer window reopens for business next month, according to reports on SportsDirect News.
And if either of those deals does take place, then it is believed that Madrid will offload their France international in order to help part fund the transfer, with both the Ligue 1 champions and their arch rivals from the South of France hoping to lure Benzema back home.
Tuesday, December 10
It has all gone very quiet again on the Karim Benzema transfer front, so much so that the only news about the in-form France front man concerns his weekend antics with a young female fan in the crowd at Olimpic Xativa.
The Liga giants were taking on the minnows in the Copa del Rey on Saturday, with the most noteworthy incident from the goalless cup tie being provided by the striker himself, who decided to pose for an impromptu photograph with said supporter while the match was still ongoing!
A bizarre incident certainly, but one that also shows just how comfortable the player is currently feeling at los Blancos as the transfer window gets ready to open for the winter ….
Friday, December 6
It appears as though Karim Benzema’s days as a Real Madrid player are now numbered with los Blancos plotting a big-money summer move for in-form Liverpool forward Luis Suarez, according to reports in the Daily Express.
The paper claims the Liga giants have now finally decided to offload the France international and will attempt to replace the front man with the mercurial Suarez at the end of this season to form a dream front three comprising the Uruguayan, Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale.
Meanwhile, Benzema himself will instead end up leading the line in north London for the current Premier League leaders Arsenal, however, Calcio Italia reports that in actual fact the striker is heading to Italy when the winter transfer window finally opens again for business in the new year.
And that is because Serie A champions Juventus are understood to be hoping to take advantage of Madrid’s own desperation to bring Suarez to the Santiago Bernabeu whatever the cost next year by themselves luring the Frenchman to Turin in January in a cut-price deal.
Tuesday, December 3
With Premier League leaders Arsenal having just agreed a six-month loan deal with Real Madrid for young front man Alvaro Morata, according to reports in the Independent, it now appears as though the north London club are set to finally bring an end to their long-running pursuit of los Blancos forward Karim Benzema as a result.
However, with the 25-year-old France international currently in the form of his life in front of goal for the Liga giants, that may very well have resulted in Gunners head coach Arsene Wenger deciding to switch his striking focus from Madrid’s first-choice centre forward to their back-up marksman instead.
Monday, December 2
With Benzema currently in the midst of his hottest run in front of goal since moving to the Santiago Bernabeu four years ago – the Frenchman’s strike against Real Valladolid on Saturday was his fifth in a row in La Liga – rumours linking the striker with a January departure from the Spanish capital have seemingly dried up for now at least.
And that is no doubt due to a combination of the president’s own much-publicised fondness for the 25-year-old, as well as los Blancos’ own desire to keep hold of a player who now appears to be forming a devastating partnership up front with both Cristiano Ronaldo and new boy Gareth Bale.
However, that does not mean that stories regarding Benzema’s future at the Liga giants will not start to appear in the press again soon and when they do, we will be the first to bring them to you here.
Friday, November 29
Mega-rich Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain are lining up a sensational big-money move for the France international as part of an audacious double swoop also involving star playmaker Cristiano Ronaldo when the winter window reopens in January, according to reports on SportsDirect News.
It is understood that the Parisians are hoping to take advantage of los Blancos’ desire to sign either Liverpool forward Luis Suarez or Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero in the new year by launching their own raid on the Santiago Bernabeu.
And if the reports are to be believed, then French giants are prepared to fork out an eye-watering £108 million in order to lure the coveted duo to the Parc des Princes at the turn of the year.
Wednesday, November 27
It is all seemingly quiet on the Karim Benzema front so far today as los Blancos prepare to entertain Turkish champions Galatasaray in the UEFA Champions League at the Santiago Bernabeu, with the in-form France international set to take centre stage in the absence of the injured Cristiano Ronaldo.
In fact, the only news about the forward comes in Spanish sports daily Marca (in English), who have highlighted just how important the 25-year-old will be up front for coach Carlo Ancelotti now that CR7 is sidelined after picking up a leg muscle strain against Almeria on Saturday.
So all previous talk of Benzema quitting the Spanish capital when the winter transfer window opens again in January has understandably now been put on the back burner for the time being.
Tuesday, November 26
Arsenal head coach Arsene Wenger is “obsessed” apparently with trying to lure highly rated Real Madrid attacker Karim Benzema to the Emirates in January, according to FIFA agent Francois Gallardo per the Daily Express.
Gallardo was speaking to Spanish football TV show Punta Pelota, which has a fairly mixed record when it comes to correctly predicting these type of stories.
However, if Gallardo is to be believed, the Gunners manager is absolutely determined to sign his compatriot in January in order to provide striker Olivier Giroud with some much-needed support for the second half of this season.
"Arsenal want to strengthen in the winter and will go for Benzema," confirmed Gallardo.
"Karim is the darling of Wenger, who is obsessed with him, but the operation is not viable.
"Arsene Wenger wants Karim Benzema, he is the apple of their eye and they will try and get him by any means possible."
Gallardo later claims: "Karim, obviously, will not leave in January. It is unfeasible."
Monday, November 25
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has categorically ruled out making a move for in-demand Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema when the winter transfer window reopens at the turn of the year, according to Amy Lawrence in the Guardian.
The Frenchman has been mentioned in the same breath as his countryman on numerous occasions since the summer. However, when questioned on the matter in his pre-match press conference prior to the meeting with Southampton, Wenger was adamant that he was not interested in the 25-year-old.
Asked about the possibility of partnering France international Olivier Giroud in attack with Benzema, Wenger replied unequivocally: "I don't think that's a good idea."