Karim Benzema has failed to convince Real Madrid fans of his worth over the last four years. A chance to do so in year five may never come his way.
Real Madrid is ready to sell Benzema for a discount in January. The news puts Arsenal on alert, according to the London Evening Standard.
“The North London club [Arsenal], who attempted to sign the France striker in the summer, have been made aware that Real Madrid are prepared to sell him for £20 million [$32 million] — half the amount the forward was valued at in August,” the report says.
“According to club insiders, Carlo Ancelotti has lost patience with the 25 year-old who has scored just two goals in eight games for his club.”
Benzema joined Real Madrid from French club Lyon in 2009 in a £30 million ($48 million) transfer. Although he has been a regular starter in his four-plus seasons at the Bernabeu, fans and managers have often targeted him for criticism. His form has fluctuated in recent seasons, prompting some to believe Real Madrid can’t win major trophies with him as its main striker.
Benzema’s contract expires in 2015, meaning Real Madrid will almost certainly offer him a new deal or sell him at some point this season.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is a longtime admirer of the French striker, and the discount fee could tempt him to pursue him in the January transfer window. It is thought that the Gunners considered making a formal transfer bid for him in the summer transfer window, but they stopped short of doing so, according to most reports.
Benzema, 25, has also been linked with moves to Chelsea and AS Roma this year, and other suitors will almost certainly come forward if Real Madrid decides to offload him.