Arsenal prepare bids for Benzema & Di Maria

Arsene Wenger has sanctioned a move for two of the star men at the Santiago Bernabeu after missing out on Gonzalo Higuain and admitting defeat in the pursuit of Luis Suarez

By Paul Clennam

Arsenal are prepared to launch a joint bid for Real Madrid stars Karim Benzema and Angel Di Maria.

The Gunners are willing to pay around €41 million to sign France international Benzema, who moved to the Spanish capital for €35m in 2009.

Madrid are willing to negotiate over a deal for Di Maria, who Arsenal value at around €17.5m, but the future of Benzema is less given that the 25-year-old is the only senior striker at the club.

The Londoners have missed out on a number of high-profile targets this summer, most notably Liverpool striker Luis Suarez and former Madrid hitman Gonzalo Higuain, who moved to Napoli.

Arsene Wenger has been urged to spend money by disgruntled supporters following their Premier League opening-day defeat at home to Aston Villa on Saturday.

A triple swoop for Yohan Cabaye, Geoffrey Kondogbia and Atsuto Uchida followed the 3-1 loss, and the Gunners have now set their sights on two of Madrid’s most high-profile players.

Benzema is los Blancos‘ sole forward following the sale of Higuain, with Spain youth internationals Jese and Alvaro Morata providing back-up, meaning Carlo Ancelotti would likely have to seek a marquee replacement before the transfer window closes.

The club’s public pursuit of Gareth Bale is expected to come to an end in the coming days, though no deal had been agreed as of Wednesday morning.

Argentine winger Di Maria’s place in the Madrid line-up is said to be under threat should Bale be brought in, and he had indeed been linked with a move to White Hart Lane as part of any potential deal for the Welshman.

But it is the Gunners who are actively pursuing the 25-year-old, who is left-footed but usually plays on the right wing at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Wenger admitted defeat in the chase of Suarez following his side’s 3-0 win over Fenerbahce in the Champions League play-offs on Wednesday evening.

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