Arsenal Prepared to Offer £35m to Finally Land Long-Term Target Karim Benzema

As with any transfer period build-up, the customary Karim Benzema to Arsenal rumours have once again began to circulate ahead of this summer’s window.

According to Spanish outlet Diario Gol, a significant dip in form over a the course of a disappointing season could see Real Madrid president Florentino Perez finally cut ties with his long-favoured number nine.

The report suggests that Perez is willing to part with Benzema, but only for an inflated price of £70m, a sum which far exceeds the £35m which Arsenal are reportedly interested in paying to secure the striker’s services.

Since his arrival at Real Madrid in summer 2009, Benzema has been a generally indispensable centre-piece of Los Blancos’ attack, providing a direct goal threat with his trademark cool finishing ability, and a knack of bringing out the best in Cristiano Ronaldo and co around him with excellent linkup play.

This season has seen the Frenchman suffer his least consistent campaign at the Bernabeu to date. Benzema has scored just five goals in 27 La Liga appearances this term, a return which undermines his world-class status. ​His time at Madrid this season has often been difficult, both on and off the pitch.

Benzema has been a long-standing target for Arsene Wenger over numerous years of searching for a proven goal scorer capable of firing his Arsenal side back to the top, having often lacked a centre-forward with true killer instinct since the departure of Robin van Persie to Manchester United in 2013.

Having spent over £100m combined on the transfers of Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang over the past two transfer windows, it remains to be seen whether the Gunners will move to add yet another top forward to their ranks this summer.

Aubameyang’s stunning start to life at the Emirates and Lacazette’s encouraging goal return since returning from his recent knee injury, in contrast to Benzema having not scored from open play since February, could see Wenger’s cool his interest in the Madrid hitman.

Were Benzema to be made available, however, and should Perez lower his demands for the 30-year-old, the opportunity to finally land a long-coveted player of the striker’s calibre could prove difficult to turn down.


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Benzema would face stiff competition from the likes of Aubameyang and compatriot Lacazette if he were to move to North London. Having fallen largely out of favour under Zinedine Zidane at the Bernabeu to the likes of Ronaldo and Gareth Bale, this could be a switch which Benzema is finally prepared to make. 

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Real Madrid Approach for Eden Hazard Set to Depend on Future of Current Bernabeu Star

Real Madrid may only make a summer approach for Chelsea star Eden Hazard, if under fire winger Gareth Bale leaves the club after five years in the Spanish capital, with Los Blancos seemingly unable or unwilling to accommodate both in the same side.

It was recently suggested that Real have become hesitant over pursuing their longstanding interest in Hazard after the Belgian’s loss of form for Chelsea in recent weeks and months.

Chelsea v West Ham United - Premier League

But in the event of Bale’s possible exit from the Bernabeu, which has been strongly denied, and a possible third successive Champions League title, it may be that the club hierarchy allows coach Zinedine Zidane to do as he wishes to rebuild the squad.

The Frenchman is known to be a keen admirer of Hazard and the feeling is mutual.

According to the Daily Mail, Bale’s relationship with Zidane has deteriorated since the €100m Welshman was left out of the first leg of the Champions League Last 16 tie against Paris Saint-Germain back in February. He has also been left out a handful of times since.

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It is said that if Bale opts to quit Real, Zidane will ask the Bernabeu board for Hazard.

But, alluding to earlier rumours that they are hardly enamoured by his performances this season, it is noted that the Spanish giants are unlikely to pay the €100m (around £87m) price they have previously been quoted by Chelsea.

Hazard is out of contract in the summer of 2020 and appears no closer to signing a new one.


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Despite beating Burnley on Thursday night, Chelsea are still playing catch up in the race for Champions League places and missing out would mean the second time in three seasons that Hazard has been absent from European football’s elite competition, if he stays.

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Liverpool Fans Eye Real Madrid Star on Twitter After Report Claims Transfer Is Close to Completion

​Liverpool fans have taken to Twitter to display their joy after fresh reports linking the Reds with Real Madrid starlet Dani Ceballos emerged.

The 21-year-old has struggled for minutes with Los Blancos this season after an impressive 2016/17 campaign with Real Betis, having registered two goals added two assists last term.

2017 MLS All-Star Game: Real Madrid v MLS All-Stars

However, Liverpool supporters believe manager Jurgen Klopp could turn the Spaniard into a quality player and a key man at Anfield, with the Merseyside club now a force to be reckoned with under the German.

Italian site Calciomercato claim that a four-year deal between Ceballos and Liverpool is close to finalisation, despite previous reports linking the midfielder with a move to Serie A side AC Milan.

Here are a selection of tweets displaying the enthusiasm of Liverpool fans, with most excited to see what Ceballos could do in the Premier League should the transfer go through.

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​​Ceballos has scored twice in La Liga so far this season, with both goals coming in a 2-1 win at Alaves back in 2017 earlier in the season.

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In other transfer news, a journalist has claimed Liverpool must go ​”all out” to sign long-term target and Roma goalkeeper Alisson.

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Bayern Munich Star Addresses Transfer Speculation Amid Real Madrid & Chelsea Interest

Another summer equals another round of speculation linking Robert Lewandowski with a move away from Bayern Munich, but the striker has moved to dispel all rumours. 

The 29-year-old is closing in on yet another season a top of the Bundesliga goal scoring charts having netted 27 during the Bavarian giants’ ​sixth successive league title winning campaign, ensuring interest from across Europe continues to simmer in the background.

The Poland international sent rumours flying following the ​appointment of Pini Zahavi as his representative recently, with reports claiming the striker instructed him to find him a new club for the start of next season, with Chelsea, Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain said to be on the top of the strikers’ wish list.

However, when asked about his ties with Madrid – who have long held ambitions of bringing him to the Bernabeu –  Lewandowski told Polskie Radio, via the ​Metro“Am I thinking about Real in terms of a transfer? No, not at all.”

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Whilst Lewandowski’s future may continue to be brought under question, the future of the Bayern Munich top job is no longer uncertain after the club announced Niko Kovac as Jupp Heynckes’ successor. 

On the appointment of the current Eintracht Frankfurt boss, Lewandowski added: “For now, I am not thinking about it. The season isn’t over. We’re focusing on what is now, under our old/new coach.”

Bayern’s Bundesliga campaign may be all but wrapped up but they face a stern test to progress into the Champions League final as a two-legged tie awaits against Real Madrid, a challenge the Pole is savouring. 


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“If you want to win the Champions League, you have to beat the best. It will definitely be a tough fight. But I hope that we’ll play our brand of soccer and will be the better team,” he added. 

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Real Madrid Forced to Halt Transfer of Brazil’s Ramon de Araújo Siqueira After Failed Medical

​Real Madrid have been forced to bring an end to negotiations with Brazilian side Fluminense over the transfer of highly rated attacker Ramon de Araújo Siqueira after the 19-year-old failed his medical.

The two clubs had been thrashing out a deal which ​appeared to be finalised earlier this month which would have seen Siqueira join Real Madrid’s Castilla team next season until May 2019, however a lingering injury to his left knee has caused the deal to momentarily collapse whilst further tests take place. 

Fluminense confirmed the postponement in a statement on Thursday, via ​Sport, it read: “The attacker Ramon, of the Under-20 team and who was in negotiation with Real Madrid B, presented problems in the medical exams [left knee, the same one that was operated on by the club in August 2016].

“In conjunction with the players’ representatives, the clubs decided the player should return to Brazil to be re-evaluated.”

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The 19-year-old is considered as Fluminense’s brightest prospect and was subject to interest from across Europe, where the Spanish giants are understood to have kept tabs on the young star since 2014 when he featured in Brazil’s Under-17 team. 

Siqueira was a key member of Fluminense’s Under-20 title winning team and was one of the most prominent players in the Sao Paulo Youth Football Cup earlier this year. 


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Siqueira will still hope to follow in the footsteps of current Los Blancos star Marcelo after the Brazilian first plied his trade with Fluminense and should the deal be revisited, Real Madrid are said to have a purchase option for the attacker which would require a fee between €4m and €6m. 

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Real Madrid 1-1 Athletic Bilbao: Ronaldo Strikes Late as Real Lose Ground on Second Place

Athletic Bilbao earned a point at the Santiago Bernabeu for the first time since 2005, as Real Madrid blew the chance to close the gap on second place Atletico Madrid. Cristiano Ronaldo scored late to earn a lethargic Real Madrid a point against mid table Athletic Bilbao.

After a quiet start, the game burst into life in the seventh minute when Real keeper Keylor Navas had to save a San Jose drive at his near post. Moments later Cristiano Ronaldo thought he had broken the deadlock for Madrid, only to see his header thunder off the crossbar.

Ronaldo then went close again when he shot wide, but the Berbabeu would turn silent in the 14th minute when Inaki Williams collected Cordoba’s precise through pass to cooly chip the ball past Navas in the Madrid goal to give Athletic Bilbao the surprise lead.

Bilbao celebrate going 1-0 up at the Bernabeu

Real nearly got the perfect response, but Ronaldo was denied again, this time by Bilbao goalkeeper Kepa at his near post.

Madrid thought they had equalised mid-way through the first half, only for Kepa to superbly deny Raphael Varane from close range.

Lucas Vazquez skilful run nearly got Los Blancos level, but Bilbao were defending resolutely.

Los Leones had a case for a penalty when Carvajal handled the ball but it was not given.

Marco Asensio almost levelled for Real on the stroke of half time only for Kepa to once again keep the ball out.

Frustrations for Real were showing , Vazquez picked up a needless yellow card as Bilbao went into the break with a 1-0 lead.

The second half started just like the first with Madrid once again dominating possession and Bilbao trying to play on the counter attack.

Keylor Navas had to be alert to stop Williams racing through on goal and at the other end Modric tried his luck but shot wide as Madrid were looking short of ideas.

On the hour mark Real appealed for a penalty when Cristiano Ronaldo was bundled over by Martinez. Referee Juan Martinez however, turned the appeals away.

The game should have been wrapped up for Bilbao when De Marcos’s cross caused havoc in the Madrid defence. Navas pushed the ball out to Cordoba who’s shot was blocked by Carvajal and somehow Raul Garcia could only manage to hit the crossbar on the rebound. 

Zinedine Zidane tried to turn Real’s fortunes around by bringing on Isco and Gareth Bale on with 20 minutes to go.

However, Bilbao’s defence was staying strong. Nunez superbly blocked another Cristiano Ronaldo drive as the Champion League winners tried to push for the equaliser.

After Real Madrid constant pressure, Los Blancos would get themselves level three minutes from time, when Cristiano Ronaldo flicked in a Luka Modric snapshot from close range.

Bale had a late free kick chance to win it for Real but it went over the bar.

Real stay in third place, three points behind Atletico Madrid who have played a game less.  Bilbao move up to 12th place.

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Benzema Opens up About How Real President Florentino Perez Welcomed Him Back After Prison Ordeal

​Karim Benzema has opened up about his relationship with Real Madrid president Florentino Perez and how he was welcomed back to the club after spending a day in jail following his involvement in a blackmail case with France teammate Mathieu Valbuena.

Back in late 2015, Benzema was ​charged with blackmail for his role as a middle man between Valbuena and a criminal group that had taken hold of a sex tape involving the midfielder.

In a recent interview with Vanity Fair, as translated by ​Marca, Benzema opened up about the incident and heaped praise on president Perez for the support he showed in what was a very difficult time for the French striker.

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(You may also be interested in ‘We Sell Newspapers’: Karim Benzema Labels Himself a ‘Great’ Player As He Hits Back at Criticism)

Benzema said: ”After spending a day in prison, I returned very sad and Florentino waited for me in Valdebebas. 

“He gave me all of his affection and is with me in both the good and bad times, he is like family to me.”

Perez and Benzema clearly have a very good relationship after working together for nine seasons. However, whether the French striker is afforded a tenth season at the European champions is up for debate in the media, with the club rumoured to be in the market for new stars after an underwhelming domestic campaign in 2017/18.


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30-year-old Benzema has seriously struggled for form this season and has managed a far from impressive five goals in 26 La Liga appearances.

However, addressing the poor goal return of both Benzema and his teammate Gareth Bale, manager Zinedine Zidane dismissed rumours of a summer exit for the pair despite speculation.

I do not think their future is in danger here,” Zidane said, via ​Goal. “They do not make a bad impression on me. They train well. Of course, they would like to play more often, but apart from that, everyone works well.

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“It will always be the case that some players are in better form than others.”

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Fixtures Announced: Man Utd, Real Madrid & Barcelona Among Giants Heading to USA for Huge 2018 ICC

The International Champions Cup is returning this summer and the fixtures that will pit 18 of Europe’s biggest teams, including Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester United, Manchester City, Juventus and Bayern Munich, against each other across three continents have been released.

Each club will play three times in the competition and all 27 games will take place between 20th July and 12th August in 14 venues across the USA, seven in Europe and one in Singapore.

Among the many huge clashes, Manchester United and Liverpool will meet on 28th July in Michigan’s ‘Big House’, a stadium with a capacity in excess of 100,000 that is sure to sell out.

Three days later, United will be facing Real Madrid in Miami, while there will be a repeat of the 2017 Champions League final when Real meet Juventus in Washington DC on 4th August.

Earlier on, Manchester City are due to take on Liverpool in New Jersey on 25th Jully, with Arsenal set to play both Atletico Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain in Singapore.

There will be a London derby in Sweden when the Gunners then face Chelsea on 4th August.

Tottenham’s biggest game will see them face Barcelona on 28th July in the famous Pasadena Rose Bowl, the venue that hosted the 1994 World Cup final between Brazil and Italy. Spurs will have already faced Roma and AC Milan by that point.

2018 International Champions Cup Full Fixture List

Date​ Fixture​ Location
20th July​ ​Sevilla vs Benfica Zurich, Switzerland​
20th July​ Manchester City vs Borussia Dortmun​d Chicago, USA​
21st July​ Bayern Munich vs Paris Saint-Germain​ Klagenfurt, ​Austria
​22nd July ​Liverpool vs Borussia Dortmund Charlotte, USA​
25th July​ ​Juventus vs Bayern Munich ​Philadelphia, USA
​25th July Borussia Dortmund vs Benfica​ Pittsburgh, USA
​25th July ​Manchester City vs Liverpool ​East Rutherford, USA
​25th July ​Roma vs Tottenham Hotspur ​San Diego, USA
​25th July AC Milan vs Manchester United​ Pasadena, USA​
26th July​ ​Atletico Madrid vs Arsenal ​Kallang, Singapore
​28th July Arsenal vs Paris Saint-Germain​ Kallang, Singapore​
28th July​ Chelsea vs Sevilla​ Warsaw, Poland​
28th July​ Benfica​ vs Juventus ​Harrison, USA
​28th July ​Manchester United vs Liverpool Ann Arbor, USA​
​28th July Bayern Munich vs Manchester City​ Miami, USA​
28th July​ Barcelon​a vs Tottenham Hotspur ​Pasadena, USA
​30th July ​Paris Saint-Germain vs Atletico Madrid ​Kallang, Singapore
​31st July ​Barcelona vs Roma ​Arlington, USA
​31st July ​Manchester United vs Real Madrid Miami, USA​
31st July​ Tottenham Hotspur vs AC Milan​ ​Minneapolis, USA
​1st August ​Chelsea vs Internazionale Gothenburg, Sweden​
4th August​ Arsenal vs Chelsea​ Solna, Sweden​
​4th August ​Real Madrid vs Juventus ​Landover, USA
4th August​ AC Milan vs Barcelona​ Santa Clara, USA​
7th August​ Internazionale vs Sevilla​ Lecce, Italy​
7th August​ Real Madrid vs Roma​ East Rutherford, USA​
12th August​ Atletico Madrid vs Internazionale​ Madrid, Spain​

The first games will take place just five days after the 2018 World Cup final, so the football will barely be stopping this summer.

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The various domestics seasons will then begin their 2018/19 campaign in mid to late August.​​

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Real Madrid Circle Paul Pogba After Details Emerge of Jose Mourinho Bust-Up During Derby

Real Madrid are waiting in the wings to nab Paul Pogba, after it emerged the Frenchman rowed with Jose Mourinho during the half time interval of the recent Manchester Derby.

United were 2-0 down in the match at the Etihad Stadium, with Pogba having put in a particularly poor performance over the first 45 minutes.

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A number of things were said between players at the break, with experienced heads Ashley Young, Michael Carrick and Ander Herrera the ones to issue the rallying cries.

It turns out that tempers flared between Pogba and Mourinho, as claimed by the ​Sun. The former Juventus star came under fire from his manager in front of the whole team, and the player supposedly muttered under his breath as he spoke, which angered the Portuguese.

Manchester United v West Bromwich Albion - Premier League

To everybody’s shock, United and Pogba turned things around in the second half. The Red Devils were a completely different proposition, and Pogba’s brace helped the team to win 3-2 to delay the home side’s title victory.

Mourinho then performed a very public U-turn, and complimented Pogba by telling him he’d have been his man of the match even without his goals.

That said, Pogba is understood to be bemused by the whole affair and the relationship between the pair is thought to be extremely fragile at this point – and Real Madrid are keeping a close eye on the matter.


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The Spanish giants narrowly missed out on signing Pogba before his 2016 switch to Old Trafford, and could be tempted to test the waters this summer, ​especially given the reports that the 24-year-old is not safe from being sold.​

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Picking the Best Potential Real Madrid Lineup to Face Athletic Bilbao on Wednesday

​Real Madrid will look to extend their unbeaten league run to seven games, when they play host to Athletic Bilbao on Wednesday evening at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Zinedine Zidane made a number of changes to the squad in Los Blancos’ 2-1 defeat of Malaga, and the Frenchman could decide to stick to a similar team as he focuses on the Champions League semi final clash to Bayern Munich.

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  • Navas

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As he has done so all season, ​Keylor Navas will start between the sticks. 

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  • Carvajal

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At left back, Zidane could decide to hand youngster Theo Hernandez ​his eighth La Liga start of the season, in place of usual starter Marcelo. With limited options to pick from, Dani Carvajal is likely to keep his place at right back for his 24th league start. 

There are a number of options available to Zidane in central defence, but he is likely to stick with the partnership of veteran Sergio Ramos and youngster Jesus Vallejo after a reassuring performance from the duo at La Rosaleda Stadium on Sunday. 

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In midfield, central defensive midfielder Casemiro will start just in front of the back four. Croatian international Mateo Kovacic will probably play alongside the Brazilian international for his ninth league start of the campaign. 

Further forward in midfield, Lucas Vasquez, who controversially won the last-minute penalty which decided Los Blancos’ Champions League progress, will start towards the right side, while fellow youngster Marco Asensio is likely to start towards the left. 

Isco will take up the number 10 position. 

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  • Ronaldo

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Zidane started Karim Benzema at the weekend in the 2-1 victory – but the striker, who has scored just eight goals in 36 appearances across all competitions, once again failed to get on the scoresheet. 

Ronaldo, on the other hand, wasn’t part of the squad who travelled down to Spain’s Costa del Sol but will be itching to get back into the starting squad on Wednesday. 

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