All the latest news and views from Ashburton Grove…
It is no longer news that Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema has been linked with a move to Arsenal and is admired by his compatriot; Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, and, while he is still speculated with a mid-season switch to join his former Los Blancos team-mate Mesut Ozil at Emirates Stadium, he could be joined by another Madridista…
FIFA agent Francois Gallardo is quoted by Punta Pelota to have said: 'Arsenal want to strengthen in the winter and will go for Benzema and Raphael Varane.
'Karim is the darling of Wenger, who is obsessed with him and Varane but the operation is not viable. Arsene Wenger wants Karim Benzema, he is the apple of their eye and they will try and get him by any means possible. Karim, obviously, will not leave in January. It is unfeasible.'
Combined, Varane and Benzema have a transfermarkt.co.uk valuation of £52m.
Fleet-footed full-back and former Barcelona academy product Hector Bellerin has joined Watford on a temporary loan until January 2, 2014. He made his first-team debut this season against West Bromwich Albion in the League Cup. He will be bossed by Gianfranco Zola for the next six weeks.
And finally, Arsenal posted a teasing Tweet earlier after club legend Thierry Henry returned to North London in order to maintain his match fitness. He was pictured training with the senior squad today.
Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) November 22, 2013
image: © Ronnie Macdonald