Spanish Report Claims Arsenal Add Real Madrid Ace to Wishlist as Hunt for Sánchez Heir Intensifies

​Reports from Spain have claimed that Arsenal have added £40m-rated Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema to their January transfer wishlist, as the north London side step up their efforts to find a successor to Alexis Sánchez – ​who is rumoured to be joining Manchester United this week.

As reported by Don Balón, the French international joins Borussia Dortmund’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Bordeaux’s Malcolm on Gunners manager Arsène Wenger’s shortlist of potential candidates to replace the tenacious Chilean. However, the source of the website’s information is unclear, suggesting the claims are part of the traditional January rumour-mill.

Real Madrid have endured a dismal La Liga campaign thus far, and are currently sitting fourth in the league table – a staggering 19 points off league leaders Barcelona. The reigning champions suffered a shock 1-0 home loss to Villarreal last weekend, a result which sees their run of league games without a league win extend to over a month.

While a move for Benzema is unlikely – despite the temptation the forward may have to jump ship – Gunners fans have reacted with feverish excitement to the social media actions of their defender Héctor Bellerín, ​who was reported to have followed BVB’s want-away striker Aubameyang on both Twitter and Instagram.

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It will be an intriguing week full of twists and turns in the Premier League, as the future of Sánchez is likely to effect a number of top tier sides. 

Henrikh Mkhitaryan is hotly tipped to join the Gunners should Sánchez make the switch to Old Trafford, while champions Chelsea are believed to making a late swoop to snatch the former Barcelona man from United’s grasp.

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An abject display saw Wenger’s men give up the lead to lose 2-1 to Bournemouth in Sunday’s Premier League clash at the Vitality Stadium. The lack of attacking endeavour shown by his side is bound to spark the long-serving manager into action, with the unthinkable outcome of failing to qualify for the Champions League for a second season in a row looming large.