Chelsea to rival Arsenal for Karim Benzema's signature?

Two Premier League sides may gun for Real Madrid forward, should Benzema be available in January.

Jose Mourinho's public desire for a goal-scoring centre forward may be satisfied in the winter window as Portuguese publication A Bola are suggesting the Chelsea manager may be looking at bringing Karim Benzema to Stamford Bridge, much to the chagrin of Arsene Wenger, who reportedly attempted an audacious late-summer triple swoop for Real Madrid stars Benzema, Angel di Maria and eventual Gunner Mesut Ozil.

Benzema's situation at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu appears increasingly untenable with each passing match-week. The subject of cat-calling from his own supporters, Benzema, a 25-year-old enjoying strong form having returned four goals and three assists in all competitions this season, was also reportedly chastised by Pepe following the club's recent derby defeat to Atletico Madrid.

Spanish journal Marca claim that Pepe became infuriated with Benzema's work-rate during the 1-0 loss to local rivals Atletico. It was no fluke result as, judging by the flow of the game, the scoreline could have been even greater and so Pepe gave Benzema an alleged verbal lambasting in front of their Real team-mates.

See also: How Arsenal fans reacted to Ozil's stunning goal on Twitter

See also: Sir Alex Ferguson confirms Chelsea tried to snatch him

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Considering Real's apparent willingness to entertain conversations regarding Benzema's availability over the summer, combined with the player falling out of favour with the club's support and the rumoured fracturing among the playing staff, an exit into the January market could be the only option for Carlo Ancelotti and the club's top brass providing Benzema is replaced.

That leaves the potential for a bidding war to ensue between London giants Chelsea and Arsenal who, between them, have already expended a gross £100m on transfers over the course of the summer.

The Blues spent an approximate £85m on player transfers throughout the course of last season, £25m more than they have spent thus far. Arsenal, meanwhile, did finance a club-record £42.4m for Ozil but considering the impact the playmaker has already had, together with the estimates that Wenger will still have the benefit of a £30m+ January budget, both teams may well have the financial capability to launch a mid-season bid. value Benzema at £30m.

image: © Jan S0L0

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