Arsenal are reportedly exploring the possibility of securing a short-term loan deal for Karim Benzema from Al-Ittihad. The Gunners are keen to bolster their attacking prowess in the January transfer window, as the current campaign has seen Gabriel Jesus, Eddie Nketiah, and Kai Havertz struggle to make a significant impact.
According to reports from TEAMtalk, Arsenal manager, Mikel Arteta is contemplating a surprise move for the former French international, Karim Benzema. The 36-year-old, who clinched the Ballon d’Or in 2022, made a departure from European football after following his ex-Real Madrid teammate, Cristiano Ronaldo, to the Middle East.
Arteta have not concealed the team’s need for a new striker, particularly given the struggles faced by Jesus and Nketiah in front of goal this season. Acquiring a permanent signing during the winter transfer window is considered financially challenging, prompting the consideration of a loan move. However, the financial aspects, particularly Benzema’s salary, could pose a significant hurdle.
Despite Arteta downplaying the possibility of signing a striker in January publicly, persistent links to Brentford frontman continue to circulate.
In an interview with beIN Sports, Arteta stated, “At the moment it does not look realistic (that Arsenal will sign a striker). What my job is, and what we have to do is improve our players and try to get better results with the players we have.”
Arteta’s comments came after Arsenal’s recent disappointment in the FA Cup third round, where they suffered a 2-0 defeat to Liverpool. The loss marked Arsenal’s third consecutive defeat, with the team being winless in their last four matches across all competitions.
While Manchester United have also been linked to Benzema, the likelihood of them making an approach is deemed uncertain.
Meanwhile, Chelsea are another contender in the pursuit of a proven No.9, potentially posing a significant challenge to Arsenal if negotiations for the Golden Ball winner proceed.
Karim Benzema made the move to Saudi Pro League side Al-Ittihad in June last year on a free transfer and is just a year removed from winning the prestigious Ballon d’Or during his time with Real Madrid. However, the 36-year-old has experienced a challenging situation at Al-Ittihad, sparking rumours of a potential return to European football.