Arsenal Transfer News: Karim Benzema Deal Could Spark Luis Suarez Exit

Rob Blanchette@@_Rob_BFeatured ColumnistApril 29, 2014

Real's Karim Benzema celebrates scoring the opening goal during a  Champions League semifinal first leg soccer match between Real Madrid and Bayern Munich at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, Spain, Wednesday, April 23, 2014. (AP Photo/Paul White)
Paul White

Arsenal have joined the race to sign Real Madrid's hitman Karim Benzema after it was reported that the Spanish giants would be prepared to sell the highly-rated French international striker.

Simon Jones of the Mail Online reports that the player could be made available at around the £40 million mark, as the Galacticos look to steal Luis Suarez away from Liverpool for a potential world-record fee. 

Jones writes:

The France striker is one of the best strikers in Europe but the Spaniards want to improve their side further and see the recruitment of a new No 9 as a step forward. The 26-year-old has scored 22 goals in all competitions for Madrid this season including the vital winner in the Champions League semi final first leg against Bayern Munich. He has helped Gareth Bale fit in well alongside Cristiano Ronaldo and Angel di Maria but Madrid are to make changes.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 08:  Luis Suarez of Liverpool is challenged by Bacary Sagna of Arsenal during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield on February 8, 2014 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Gett
Michael Regan/Getty Images

Suarez was linked with a move to Arsenal last summer, and Henry Winter of The Telegraph was clear in his assessment that the Gunners would have been the team on the verge of winning the title this year had the deal gone through, not the Merseyside giants.

He wrote on Monday:

Retaining Suarez has been the key decision in Liverpool’s unexpected tilt at the title, which despite the defeat on Sunday has already yielded a return to the Champions League. It was a decision that ultimately harmed Arsenal; if Suarez had forced through a move to the Emirates then Arsenal would currently be fighting for the title rather than fourth place as they were last night in their victory over Newcastle United.

Suarez was named PFA Player of the Year on Sunday night after scoring 30 goals in his 31 Premier League appearances this season, per Squawka.

Benzema has hugely improved during his time at Madrid, bagging five goals and five assists in the Champions League this season, per, and is rightfully considered one of the elite strikers in world football today.

However, if the Galacticos manage to sign a player of Suarez's current standing there would be no place for the Frenchman at the Bernabeu, thus allowing Arsenal to make their move to bring Benzema to London.

Benzema would be perfect for Arsenal as they look to strengthen their weakest position. Olivier Giroud has coped well in the lone striker's role for some time but the lack of strength in this area has damaged the Gunners' title challenge this season.

Bogdan Maran

Giroud has scored 15 times in the Premier League this season, Squawka, but with Arsenal's recent injury crisis this contribution has not advanced the Arsene Wenger's title challenge. 

If Wenger does not add some real quality to his attack then history is likely to repeat itself and see a decade of underachievement continue at the Emirates.

Benzema would bring an excellent balance to Wenger's front-line with a fantastic supporting cast headed by Mesut Ozil.

With the quality of Theo Walcott and Aaron Ramsey, adding goals and assists from midfield, Arsenal may finally become credible challengers for the Premier League title.