The Daily Mail has reported that Arsene Wenger will try and sign Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema after the Champions League final later this month.
However, is he taking an unnecessary risk?
The report suggests that the Gunners will enquire about his availability after the Madrid derby against Atletico, giving Benzema an opportunity to stress his importance to Carlo Ancelotti and Florentino Perez on the biggest European stage.
“Arsenal will check on the availability of Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema after the Champions League final - Benzema has 12 months left on his contract leaving him in a strong position to either re-negotiate a new deal or force a move away this summer,” reads the Mail’s report.
The Frenchman has formed a superb relationship with superstars Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale in the Real Madrid attack, securing impressive figures this season; 22 goals and 14 assists across La Liga and the Champions League.
He’s engineered a position for himself where his importance to club officials is quite clear, after rumours earlier in the season that he’d be axed in favour of Alvaro Morata.
Matches don’t come much bigger than the Champions League final, which is 90 minutes of football (possibly more) that Benzema can use to make himself priceless to Ancelotti’s vision for the club over the next couple of years.
A good performance doesn’t necessarily keep a player at a club but in Benzema’s case it’s important because of his contract situation. If he wants to stay at Real Madrid then big performances in big games will help him earn a new contract, which is something that Arsenal have no control over.
Wenger needs another centre forward this summer because Arsenal have looked starved of attacking options when Olivier Giroud hasn’t performed to his best in the Gunners attack.
Benzema is a player that Wenger clearly admires but if he has a blinder in the Champions League final, it will make Los Blancos all the more keen to keep him just as it will make Wenger more determined to sign him.
There is only so much Wenger can do as Benzema will be fully focused on the end of the La Liga season and that Champions League final, but Chelsea have shown in the case of Diego Costa that negotiations can take place in advance to bypass problems at a later date.