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Arsenal to splash £40m on Karim Benzema

ESPN staff
August 22, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
Has Arsenal's dominant win against Fenerbahce masked the cracks?

Arsene Wenger has turned his attentions to Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema as he attempts to bolster Arsenal's frontline.

Widespread reports in the British media suggest that the Gunners are ready to meet the France international's £40 million valuation.

Arsenal have already been frustrated in the transfer market this summer with interest in Gonzalo Higuain, Luis Suarez and Luiz Gustavo coming to nothing.

But in recent days Wenger has urged the club's fans to trust him in the transfer market as he attempts to make headway before the window closes on September 2.

The Telegraph reports that Arsenal have already been in contact with Madrid about a transfer, and believe a move for Benzema, 25, is feasible.

Following the 3-0 Champions League qualifier victory against Fenerbahce on Wednesday night, Wenger said that the club's pursuit of Suarez was over.

When asked if Arsenal were considering a third bid for the Uruguay international striker, he said: "Absolutely no chance of that.

"It is true that one bid for a striker did not work. That took a long time. We have to wake up from that now. I'm confident.

"The transfer market starts for me now and a lot of activity will happen between now and September 2. It is like a poker game. People hold their cards as long as possible. In the end, they go for decisions."

Arsenal have also made a bid for Newcastle midfielder Yohan Cabaye this week, while the BBC reports that the club may also register an interest in Madrid winger Angel Di Maria.

But Ronaldo has personally requested that Madrid do not sell Di Maria this summer after he was linked to Tottenham as part of a deal to bring Gareth Bale to the Bernabeu, but he outlined a desire to remain in La Liga.

The Mirror claims that Di Maria's team-mate Mesut Ozil and Sevilla's France international midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia also remain possibilities for Wenger.

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