Transfer news: Arsenal and Chelsea given hope in Karim Benzema pursuit

Cameron Smith
Karim Benzema, Arsenal, Chelsea, 2023/24
© ProShots

Arsenal and Chelsea have been given fresh hope in their reported pursuit of Karim Benzema following reports that Lyon are unable to finance a move for the Al-Ittihad forward.

Benzema, 36, is reportedly unsettled in Saudi Arabia and is open to returning to Europe in 2024 after being left out of Al-Ittihad’s Dubai training camp.

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Arsenal and Chelsea have both been linked with a move for the Real Madrid legend as they continue to search for a new number nine in the final few days of the January transfer window.

Recent reports also suggested that Lyon had entered the race to sign Benzema as they eye up a potential reunion with their former star. Benzema, of course, came through the ranks at Lyon and he made 148 senior appearances for the club before joining Real Madrid in 2009.

However, the Ligue 1 club will not be re-signing Benzema in January, according to L’Equipe.

The Athletic had reported that Lyon were exploring the possibility of landing the Al-Ittihad star, but Lyon have denied any contact with Benzema and his annual salary of €100 million means he is out of financial reach, L’Equipe have stated.

What has Fabrizio Romano said about Karim Benzema?

Transfer expert Fabrizio Romano recently provided an update on Benzema’s future, admitting to his YouTube channel: “There is nothing at the moment with Arsenal.

“What I’m hearing at the moment is that the situation remains quite tense between Karim Benzema and Al-Ittihad. There are new face-to-face meetings between Benzema, people close to the player, and the club to find a solution.

Karim Benzema, Al-Ittihad
© ProShots – Karim Benzema, Al-Ittihad

“Benzema returned to training in recent days but not with the rest of the group. He’s training alone because the situation remains tense.”

He also told CaughtOffside: ““If something changes in the next days, if Arsenal decide to bid and try to sign Benzema, I will let you know, but the reality today is that they are not working on this deal.

“I don’t like to sell dreams – I know it’s an exciting idea, but as of now Arsenal are not working on a deal for Benzema. If they open talks, I will let you know.”

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