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Arsenal Transfer News: Latest Karim Benzema, Gonzalo Higuain Rumours

Nick Akerman@NakermanFeatured ColumnistJuly 21, 2015

MADRID, SPAIN - MAY 13:  Karim Benzema of Real Madrid CF duels for the ball with Patrice Evra of Juventus during the UEFA Champions League semi final match between Real Madrid CF and Juventus at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on May 13, 2015 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images)
Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger remains "keen" on snapping up Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema, but he "has ruled out" signing Gonzalo Higuain from Napoli, according to Rob Draper of the MailOnline.

Wenger doesn't expect Madrid to cash-in on Benzema this summer. Draper wrote Arsenal have "no expectation" of Los Blancos wanting to sell as Rafa Benitez's tenure at the Bernabeu gathers speed. It is also noted Benzema remains a favourite of Madrid president Florentino Perez, the man who dictates the Spanish club's revolving door.

Tancredi Palmeri of beIN Sports believes the Gunners have even made a bid worth just over £30 million for Benzema:

Tancredi Palmeri @tancredipalmeri

It's all true the Arsenal bid for Benzema: 45m€. Real Madrid was initially open to talk, but now they have stopped everything

Celebrity Arsenal fan Piers Morgan would be happy to see the Frenchman arrive:

Tom Adams of ESPN FC suggested Benzema's arrival may be possible in the future, but that Arsenal will need to bide their time:

Before Benzema would consider a move to Arsenal, you suspect Real Madrid would have to first decide that they no longer want him, either due to tactical considerations or, in the case of the purchases of (Mesut) Ozil from Madrid and Alexis Sanchez from Barcelona, if the European superpower need to raise money and free up space in the squad to facilitate another superstar arrival. For Arsenal, it's all about waiting for the opportunity to present itself, if it ever does.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 18:  Karim Benzema of Real Madrid controls the ball during the International Champions Cup friendly match between Real Madrid and AS Roma at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on July 18, 2015 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Robe
Robert Prezioso/Getty Images

Benzema could endure dwindling playing time if Benitez decides to push Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale into central roles. He is always going to be the "BBC" member pushed aside, such is the forward-thrusting and goalscoring power of the two men who flanked him under Carlo Ancelotti's rule last season.

Wenger is currently heading into the new season with Olivier Giroud, Danny Welbeck and Theo Walcott as his main strikers, the latter of whom has only played this position intermittently since joining the Gunners in 2006.

Walcott's pace is enough to frighten any defence in the world, and his best return in the Premier League came during the 2012-13 season. In fact, the 14 he scored during that term stands as the only time Walcott has hit double figures in nine years with the club.

SINGAPORE - JULY 18: Theo Walcott of Arsenal celebrates after scoring against Everton with Joel Robles stranded on the ground during the Barclays Asia Trophy final match between Arsenal and Everton at the National Stadium on July 18, 2015 in Singapore.  (
Stanley Chou/Getty Images

Benzema's arrival could help Walcott take his game to the next level. Madrid have benefited from his underrated ability to hold the ball up, distribute and stride into the box, the kind of play which allows Walcott to burst forward.

Although Giroud effectively interlinks passes outside the area, he has sometimes been found lacking in the biggest games. Benzema remains calm in the opposition's box and can be relied upon to slot away chances in the opposition's penalty area.

Higuain could score plenty of goals in the red and white shirt, but the Argentinian's stock continues to plummet after some poor performances on the big stage. Arsenal need unique talents and those who can genuinely advance the side's play. Higuain is an expert poacher, but Benzema's physical style would provide Wenger's men with added bulk. 

Marco Vasini/Associated Press

Like the signing of Petr Cech, Benzema's arrival would announce Arsenal's title intentions to the world. So often Wenger has planned for the future, but after finishing third and winning the FA Cup last season, it's time the boss plans for now.

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