Arsene Wenger has denied making a £40 million bid for Real Madrid striker, Karim Benzema, but did not rule out making a future move for the French international.
Speaking to the press ahead of Arsenal’s pre-season friendly match against Everton in the final of the Barclays Asia Trophy Singapore, Wenger said that a move is not close.
“I don’t know where that story comes from but that is not happening at the moment,” Wenger said. “I’m happy with the squad we have. If we find an exceptional player to strengthen, I will do it.”
When further pressed regarding any possible business Arsenal may do in the current transfer window, including Benzema, Wenger hinted that he wants to add more quality to the side.
“It depends what’s on the market. It is not easy; there are a lot of teams out there in Europe competing for the same player. We don’t rule it out and [also] don’t guarantee we sign.
“[The title] is our target and we feel we have a chance in a very competitive league. We are not far away.”
Wenger’s last comment that Arsenal is “not far away” indicates that the manager believes Arsenal need an additional piece. Benzema would be an upgrade over Olivier Giroud and striker has long been an area where fans and pundits alike believe Arsenal should improve.
While clearly no deal is imminent, it’s possible that Arsenal could make a move for Benzema in the next month, depending on Real Madrid’s future transfer activity. If Madrid were to bring in another striker, such as Sergio Agüero for example, Benzema would be available on the market.
It’s hard to imagine Arsenal being able to swing a deal for Benzema without Real Madrid signing a ready replacement first.