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Agent Ozil's dad threatened to sue makes €50m Benzema claim

Karim Benzema

Could Arsenal be the 'top club' linked with Karim Benzema by Francois Gallardo.

A stunning claim has been made regarding Karim Benzema, a hint that the striker is close to a Premier League move.

Spanish talkshow Punto Pelota makes the claim, but there is more to this story than meets the eye.

The claim

Punto Pelota claims via agent Francois Gallardo, that a 'top' Premier League club is to meet with the representatives of Karim Benzema over a January move, and are prepared to set aside €45-50 million.

An astounding price considering the Frenchman's recent poor form, going more than 1,000 minutes without a goal.

He states: "Next week, after the Clasico, my team and I will be in Madrid. A person from England (will) come to see us and then call to the offices of the Bernabéu to meet him. They want to inquire about Benzema.

"The English team will want him in the winter but, if not possible, to get him back in the summer. The offered amount will be around 45 to 50 million and is from a club at the 'top' of England."

The context

Francois Gallardo is a divisive figure in transfer circles. Some of his failed exclusive claims include Didier Drogba to Barcelona and John Terry to Valencia. He caused a stir in June when he claimed Gareth Bale to Real Madrid was a done deal. He was mocked at the time, but it now seems he was simply ahead of the curve.

Late in the transfer window he made a similar claim to this Benzema one, regarding an incoming offer for Mesut Ozil from a high-raning English team. It was widely, and wrongly, considered to be Manchester United.

However that is not quite the full story. After Ozil's transfer to Arsenal, the player's father Mustafa Ozil - who has tonight stepped down as his representative - hit out at Gallardo claiming he 'shopped' his player around Europe and offered him to Manchester United without permission.

Mustafa Ozil even threatened to sue Gallardo alleging he acted without authorisation.

Analysis

Gallardo's claims certainly should not be taken at face value, but he does clearly have his ear to the ground at Real Madrid and is privy to some inside information. A proposal for Benzema may well be coming from an English club, but we would doubt it was for the amount quoted.

Arsenal, in need of a striker, are likely possibilities, while Chelsea could also make a move if they shipped Fernando Torres or Demba Ba out of the club. File this one under wait and see.

What do you think of the claims?

image: © Jan S0L0

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