Zidane says long-term Arsenal target is excellent and will remain in Madrid

Karim Benzema is expected to sign a new deal at Real Madrid which will all but end Arsenal’s lingering hopes of doing a deal.

The 26-year-old French international striker is reported to have been on Arsene Wenger’s wish list for a long time.

Following Jose Mourinho’s final season at Madrid – one which was rife with off-field problems and controversy - there were reports suggesting that Karim Benzema would be leaving the La Liga club as a result of his general unhappiness in the Spanish capital.

If Arsene Wenger was ever to land his long-term ideal striker, last summer was his best shot. Arsenal however bought in Mesut Ozil instead, and as a result of Carlo Ancelotti’s magic touch, Real Madrid and Benzema seem to have turned a page and started a new chapter.

In an exclusive interview reported by the Spanish newspaper AS, club legend Zinedine Zidane spoke of his fellow countryman’s future, stating that he believed Benzema will extend his current deal which expires in the summer of 2015.

He said: "I believe he will renew. The club has a lot of interest in doing it and Karim is happy and well in Madrid. I expect there won’t be any problems.”

Zidane continued to praise his Benzema, saying that he sees a little of himself in the striker:

“He is excellent. He is a very quiet and reserved guy who doesn’t speak much, but his talent is pure.”

“He is very happy when he gets out onto the pitch.”

“In a certain way we are alike. For me what mattered most was to play, give the best I can then be with my family at home. Benzema is like that too.”

image: © Jan S0L0

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