It's been a relatively quiet transfer summer for Arsenal, but with the some minor, and expected moves, in recent days, Arsene Wenger may be looking to go big by signing one of the most effective strikers in Europe. The big prize is Karim Benzema, who has been the source of transfer speculation to the Premier League for years.
According to the Sun, Arsenal will offer Real Madrid £40 million for Benzema. The 27-year-old has been coveted by Arsenal for years, and when Wenger was in pursuit of a high-profile player in 2013, and got into a serious dialogue with Real Madrid officials, Benzema reportedly was high on his wish list.
The player that Wenger ultimately landed, shattering the club's transfer record, turned out to be central midfielder Mesut Ozil at over £42 million. But it's no secret that Wenger tends to favor French players, and Benzema might be the best one to come along since former Arsenal superstar Thierry Henry. Wenger's careful words may be an indication that Benzema arriving at the Emirates is a possibility, after it was reported as far back as May 2011 that Benzema was a transfer target.
“Benzema is not one that is happening at the moment but if I can find an exceptional player to strengthen the squad I will do it," Wenger said.
“We don’t rule out another signing and we don’t guarantee that we will buy.
“I am happy with the squad we have but it depends what is in the market."
It's the "at the moment" inclusion to Wenger's comment that might draw some attention. Indeed, Arsenal do no necessarily need to bring on another striker, but it would certainly help. Of course, Arsenal already have a French striker, but Olivier Giroud has already stated that he would welcome another forward to raise the competitive spirit.
"If there is another striker it will be nice for all the team because competition is good for everyone," Giroud told reporters.
"I am going to focus on my preparation. We are doing well together with a good cohesion. The most important thing for me is that the team is always improving. I give my best every game."
Aside from Petr Cech, Arsenal have failed to make much progress in upgrading their squad. In recent days, Arsenal have opened up room for a potential forward by making loan deals. Yaya Sanogo, yet another French forward, will join Ajax on a season-long loan. Wenger stated that Sanogo "needs to play" and believes possible Champions League experience will help the 22-year-old.
Joel Campbell, currently on duty for Costa Rica in the Gold Cup, may also be on his way out. The 23-year-old was reportedly coveted by Real Sociedad and Besiktas at about £6 million, according to the Express. Campbell only has four appearances with Arsenal, but has looked strong in international competition, as well as with Olympiacos and Villarreal in recent years.
To little surprise, defender Carl Jenkinson, who grew up an Arsenal fan and showed some promise in his limited playing time, will return to West Ham United on loan. Arsenal appear set with their deep backline and the chances for Jenkinson to receive playing time looked slim.