'Bitter controversy' forcing €40m 'destroyed' Arsenal target out of his club?

Karim Benzema

Reported Arsenal transfer target Karim Benzema is struggling to win over the Real Madrid fans.

Karim Benzema has always maintained his desire to remain at Real Madrid, even linked with signing a new extension on his deal which expires in 2015.

He has been linked with Arsenal repeatedly over the past three months, where he would follow teammate Mesut Ozil in moving from Madrid to North London.

The wheels are slowly though beginning to turn against him in Madrid, after a start to the season where he appeared to be revelling as the club's main striker, scoring twice in as many games.

He has now gone three La Liga games without a goal, although he did net two last week in a 6-1 Champions League win away at Galatasaray.

This has not appeased Madrid's demanding fans, who decided to jeer him before the game with Getafe, so frustrated have they been with the striker's performances.

Spanish newspaper Marca described this situation as a 'bitter controversy' in their headline, writing:

"The crowd (were) turning against the French player. They whistled him during the opening moments of the match and the harrying did not let up.

"The negative reaction was so great that many of the supporters felt it was too much... The Bernabéu refuses to tolerate him; (it's) tough to see as it is clearly taking its toll on Benzema, who looked destroyed as he went off the field and headed for the bench."

They went onto add that the situation poses a 'huge problem' for coach Carlo Ancelotti, who has Benzema as his only out and out experienced striker - although of course Cristiano Ronaldo or Gareth Bale could also play a forward role along with youngster Alvaro Morata.

The developments add further interest to comments from Real president Florentino Perez that 'some' players will be leaving this January.

"We’re not going to sign anyone in January. We’ve bought a lot of players and some will have to leave."

Madrid have been linked with moves for strikers Falcao and Luis Suarez, but his comments indicate players will be sold to balance the books.

Benzema is not a player who would have seemed an obvious candidate, but the recent negative feedback from fans - if it manifests further - could force the striker to reconsider, especially considering the adulation former teammate Ozil is receiving at Arsenal.

Teammate Angel di Maria has even been speaking up about the jeering: "I thought the whistles towards Karim were unpleasant. Morata missed a chance and nobody whistled him. They have to be fair to everyone."

Olivier Giroud may not welcome his French international teammate in terms of competition, but when it comes to strengthening Arsenal's attack there is little doubt he would do just that if allowed to flourish.

Check out one of his misses in the 4-1 win over Getafe, and the unimpressed fan reaction... 

Could this work in Arsenal's favour? Is he the striker the Gunners need?

image: © Jan S0L0

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