According to Spanish daily 'Marca', English giants Manchester United are set to beat Chelsea and city rivals Manchester City to signing Real Madrid underachiever Karim Benzema.
It is reported that Sir Alex Ferguson made a £25 million bid for the Frenchman last summer, but were priced out when Real Madrid offered Lyon £30 million for the 22 year-old striker. Ferguson was no longer prepared to splash out more cash out on big name players following the high-profile arrival of Dimitar Berbatov who has yet to impress the Old Trafford supporters.
Manchester United have been rumoured to be interested in taking Benzema on a season long loan and 'Marca' even suggests a deal would be likely to involve Serbian international Nemanja Vidic moving to the Bernabau.
Real Madrid have agreed personal terms with Nemanja Vidic who was scheduled to leave Manchester United at the end of this season but Sir Alex Ferguson vetoed the move, as he is unwilling to lose two of his biggest stars in successive seasons. As a result, Vidic and the Manchester United manager have compromised in letting Vidic leave in 2011 instead.
Manchester United have earlier signed Fulham starlet Chris Smalling for an undisclosed fee in the region of £5 million pounds and have lined up Everton star Jack Rodwell to replace the 28 year old in defense next season.
Vidic's wife Ana Ivanovic has always wanted to move to the Spanish capital and friends close to Ivanovic said that Vidic has promised to move the family to Madrid but decided to stay at Manchester United for one more season out of loyalty to Sir Alex Ferguson who made Vidic into one of the best centre backs in world football.
'Marca' speculates that Manchester United are keen to sign Benzema to partner Wayne Rooney up front next season and predict a possible trade off between Benzema and the Serbian centre back. Florentino Perez is desperate for the club to win the Champions League in the wake of Barcelona's recent dominance and has always been reluctant to sign defensive players Perez sees Vidic as a potential 'galatico' following recommendations from former Manchester United team mate Cristiano Ronaldo.
'Marca' comments that Manchester United and Real Madrid have an excellent relationship following Sir Alex Ferguson's complete turnaround in allowing Cristiano Ronaldo to leave earlier this season, after commenting that he "wouldn't sell them (Madrid) a virus" at one point.
Swooping Vidic for Benzema would make perfect sense for both clubs as Benzema clearly has not have had the best of times in Madrid and with we definitely need a top class striker (with pace) to partner Wayne Rooney up front. Besides, with Johnny Evans becoming increasingly discontent at the club for not starting enough games as he would have liked this season, it would be wise to offload the 28 year old Vidic or risk losing Evans to Madrid or Barcelona for free when his contract runs out which would be a bigger loss.
It makes perfect sense to let Vidic go. At least to me. What are your thoughts?