Arsenal Transfer News: Latest News on Karim Benzema, Julian Draxler and More

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistApril 23, 2014

Arsenal's French manager Arsene Wenger stands with his arms folded during the English Premier League soccer match between Arsenal and Swansea City at the Emirates Stadium in London, Tuesday, March 25, 2014.  (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
Matt Dunham

Arsenal desperately need reinforcements over the summer after their initial title challenge has given way to a scrap for Champions League football this season.

The Gunners topped the league early in 2014, but a swathe of injuries and out-of-form players has exposed the lack of depth in their squad.

Olivier Giroud has committed himself to the club, and reports suggest the north London outfit will look to bring in Real Madrid's Karim Benzema to partner the Frenchman.

Here's a look at the latest news on Arsenal's potential transfer activity.


Olivier Giroud

Kirsty Wigglesworth

The 27-year-old French international has had a poor end to the season, only scoring twice in Arsenal's last eight league games.

However, he has still top scored for the Gunners this season with 14 goals from 33 Premier League games, per Squawka.

It should thus be a positive for Arsenal that he has committed his future to the club and was also eager to outline the club's need for Arsene Wenger to sign a new contract.

As reported by John Cross of Mirror Footballhe said of rumours he may be leaving the club:

You shouldn't listen to that. A lot of things were said. I'm still happy in London and with Arsenal and think I will be in the future.

I have a contract until 2016 and I'm an Arsenal player. I want to be here next season, at least that's my will. [...]

Of course we all want him (Wenger) to continue the adventure. I'm sure that next season we can challenge for the title - I hope, right until the end [of the season] - and we need the coach. We need his experience. He must stay.

Giroud's potential departure had been mooted after he was the subject of a scandal caused by allegations that he spent a night in the team hotel with an underwear model, as reported by

But after these recent comments, thoughts should turn away from Giroud's departure and on to a potential strike partner who could add further goals.

With Giroud, the only Arsenal player to have reached double figures in the Premier League this season, per BBC Sport, the Gunners could really do with more firepower up front.


Karim Benzema

Andres Kudacki

Real Madrid's French striker would certainly up the goal count at Arsenal. He is a proven goalscorer and has 17 La Liga goals for Real this season from 32 appearances, per Squawka.

Reports in Metro suggest Arsenal are indeed lining up a bid to bring the French international to the Emirates, with the Spanish giants supposedly prepared to let him go:

The Gunners have been tracking Benzema for the last two seasons, with the Frenchman struggling to impress since joining Madrid.

Arsene Wenger was said to have made a big money offer for the striker last summer, but the bid was rejected, with Madrid keen to give Benzema one more season to settle.

However, with Real fans still jeering him in the stands, reports in Spain claim he will be put up for sale at the end of the season – and Arsenal will try again to buy him.

If he is indeed not wanted at the Bernabeu, Benzema would be an excellent addition to the Arsenal squad, although the Metro report suggests they would have to shell out up to £25 million to claim his services. 

While Wenger has not been prone in the past to pay big money, the reported price for Benzema is relatively reasonable for a player of proven quality at the highest level.

He would also slot in well among a host of fellow Frenchmen as well as former teammate Mesut Ozil, who moved to the Gunners from Madrid last summer.


Julian Draxler

GELSENKIRCHEN, GERMANY - MARCH 12:  Julian Draxler of Schalke looks dejected during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg match between FC Schalke 04 and Galatasaray AS at Veltins-Arena on March 12, 2013 in Gelsenkirchen, Germany.  (Photo by La
Lars Baron/Getty Images

The 20-year-old Schalke midfielder has been a long-term target for Wenger, but it is looking increasingly likely that the German will stay put over the summer.

As reported by Ben Jefferson in the Daily Express, Julian Draxler's agent, Roger Wittman, said:

Why should a player leave the club if the club have just built a top team?

I also think it's good if players stick to what they have signed.

It would take an awful lot to happen for one of the two [Draxler and Jefferson Farfan] of them to leave. And even then I'm not sure it would be possible.

The players understand that there is currently a lot of peace at the club and a lot of optimism about their future there.

The Mirror's Richard Beech reported back in January that Draxler was valued at £35 million, a price tag that might have made Wenger wary, especially for a man so young. 

However, he is a top player, and it will be a blow for Arsenal if they cannot bring him to the Emirates as he could have been the creative centrepiece for Wenger's side for many years to come.

It seems Arsenal will have to look elsewhere, but they must look to buy in proven quality if they want to once again compete for domestic and European titles. 

For too long, Wenger has relied on young players with great potential but no experience, and that has resulted in a complete lack of any silverware since 2005.


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