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Arsenal striker target’s agent ends transfer speculation

Karim Benzema has been linked with a move to north London, but the Real Madrid star’s agent has rubbished rumours of a switch.

After the pursuit of Gonzalo Higauin and Luis Suarez proved fruitless, Arsenal have been linked with an audacious bid to pry Karim Benzema from Real Madrid in the last week.

With the Spaniards on the verge of signing Gareth Bale, there were rumblings that the France international forward could be allowed to leave to fund the new world-record transfer fee that the Spaniards would shell out for the Welshman.

However, the deal is dead in the water after Benzema’s agent Karim Djaziri stated that the forward would not be leaving the Santiago Bernabeu.

"We can not fight against the rumours, but I assure you Karim will not go to Arsenal. There has never been any discussions and no contact has been established,” the representative told French newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche.

“We are working on a contract extension for three years. Discussions are taking place quietly, without deadline. Karim could well end his career at Real, the club of his dreams."

In all truth, the news should not come as any surprise to Arsenal or their fans. Madrid have let a want-away forward go this summer in the form of Higuain and although Bale’s move looks increasingly likely, Benzema and youngster Alvaro Morata are the only out-and-out strikers at Carlo Ancelotti’s disposal currently.

For Madrid to allow Benzema, who started 30 of the club’s 38 La Liga games last term, to leave would be an oversight and see them short of strikers.

Arsenal had their chance to sign a forward from Madrid earlier in the transfer window in the form of Higuain. The Argentine was vocal in his desire to leave for a new challenge and was available for a fee that the newly cash-rich Arsenal can supposedly afford.

With the transfer window starting to get to the last frenetic days, Arsene Wenger needs to look at more realistic targets if he is to bolster his squad. Whether there was ever an interest or attempt to sign Benzema remains to be seen, but the likelihood of the former Lyon man actually switching to north London was never realistic.

In better news for the Gunners, Yohan Cabaye was again absent in Newcastle’s 0-0 draw with West Ham on Saturday. This France international is actually within the Gunners’ reach and has the ability to really improve Arsenal’s midfield.

image: © Jan S0L0

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