Carlo Ancelotti will have a problem when he goes to the USA with Real Madrid, he won’t have any strikers available.
The former Chelsea boss is preparing his side for the pre-season tournament in the States without Cristiano Ronaldo (injuries), Karim Benzema (holiday) or Jese Rodriguez (injury) available.
Alvaro Morata may well have featured but he’s now completed a move to Serie A champions Juventus.
The problem demonstrates why Ancelotti has been so reluctant throughout the summer, and last season, to realistically entertain the idea that Benzema could leave, with Arsenal one of the side with a long term interest in him.
Real Madrid are a side that rely on having a sole number nine leading their attack which makes Benzema priceless to Ancelotti’s current vision for the team.
Selling him would mean the Italian losing that valuable number nine and having to push Ronaldo further forward or lead to him taking a risk by offering the relatively inexperienced Rodriguez more game time next season.
Fortunately for Los Blancos, Arsenal’s decision to sign Alexis Sanchez is a big sign they may have given up hope of getting Benzema.
They are different players, but Sanchez represents a signing who can play up front for Arsenal next season, should Arsene Wenger want to use him in a central role rather than out wide.
Wenger also seems ready to invest even more time in Olivier Giroud leading the Arsenal attack, a player who would definitely suffer if Benzema, or a similar striker, joined the Gunners before next season.
Not having their main striker and attacking players available for pre-season provides the youngsters at Real Madrid with an opportunity to impress but it certainly suggests it would be a huge error for Ancelotti to consider selling the Frenchman.