Arsenal to launch bid for Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema

Arsenal is preparing an ambitious summer bid for Real Madrid star Karim Benzema.

The Gunners believe Benzema is interested in a move to north London if the club is able to agree to a deal, hoped to be around 35 million pounds, with Real Madrid.

Any move would likely depend on whether the Spanish giant signs a new striker in the summer to play alongside Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale.

But Arsenal is ready to test Madrid's resolve with a big bid for Benzema, who scored 22 goals in 46 appearances this season.

Arsenal announced it had cash reserves of £138.8m in its last financial accounts and can easily afford to sign Benzema as its marquee summer arrival having brought Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil to the Emirates Stadium in the last two years.

Arsene Wenger wants to sign a top-class striker as he prepares Arsenal for a title challenge next season following their third-placed finish this year.

He tried to sign Luis Suarez from Liverpool in 2013 and sources say he believes Benzema, 27, is capable of firing Arsenal to its first Premier League triumph since 2004. Wenger is a huge admirer of the France international and tried to sign him before he joined Real Madrid from Lyon in 2009.

Arsenal is reportedly ready to listen to offers for Olivier Giroud to make room for Benzema, with French champion Paris Saint-Germain closely monitoring the 28-year-old’s situation.

Wenger is targeting three signings to mount a title challenge next season and also wants a goalkeeper and defensive midfielder.

Petr Cech is considered the perfect choice as the club’s new goalkeeper, but Chelsea has so far insisted it does not want to sell the 32-year-old to a Premier League rival.

Arsenal will have to pay over the odds to sign Cech while Southampton has quoted £25m for midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin.

Wenger values the France international at around £20m and may look to cheaper alternatives, particularly given Francis Coquelin’s excellent from in the second half of the season.

Credit: Greg Stobart/Goal