Karim Benzema's potency and therefore transfer value has been questioned, by none other than his own international coach.
Karim Benzema is a player under close scrutiny at the moment, facing a pivotal period in his career.
Between now and the opening of the next transfer window he has been entrusted with leading the Real Madrid frontline - and already there are signs of trouble.
He was jeered by supporters at the Bernabeu after a third successive La Liga match without a goal at the weekend.
With the possibility he could end up being pushed out, it has been suggested that he could seek a move in January, and could join Mesut Ozil at Arsenal.
The striker was linked with the Gunners at the end of August, who need back-up for Olivier Giroud, but figures as high as £40 million have been suggested as his market value.
Now comments from his own international manager Didier Deschamps will certainly cause Arsene Wenger to remain prudent in his valuation of the frontman, despite the record breaking deal for Ozil.
He told Radio France Internationale (RFI): "The problem is that he's been coming up short for quite a while.
"He says that he's not affected by it. I'm not going to talk about doubts because it gives the impression that he's ill. I'd say he's suffered from a lack of confidence and some bad luck. Sometimes he draws a fantastic save, other times he hits the post and it goes out rather than in, or a leg appears from nowhere at the last minute to block the shot… When a striker is on a run it makes a difference, but all the great number nines have had difficult times."
Deschamps clearly feels this is no mini-slump for Benzema and his inconsistency in front of goal is a growing problem. Deschamps dropped him for France's last international match for Arsenal's in-form Olivier Giroud.
If Arsenal are going to spend £40 million on a striker, they certainly won't want one who has 'been coming up short for quite a while.'
The fee remains a huge amount and would represent the majority of the Gunners' rumoured £50 million January transfer budget.
Benzema may become available, but if he is then a price in the region of £20-25 million may be far more realistic, and Deschamps comments only serve to confirm this view.
How much is Karim Benzema worth?
image: © Jan S0L0