Posts Tagged ‘Benzema’

Yesterday there was a report from the journalist Paco González of Cadena COPE/Mediaset Sport that our very own Arsène Wenger had “phoned” Karim Benzema in an attempt to convince him to move to Arsenal. As it is summer time and the typical crazy transfer season mentality takes over conventional, rational thinking, not many people bothered to see what else the journalist had to say about the situation.

Let’s just begin with what was actually said and the proper translation of it.


Paco Gonzaléz has assured that Arsenal have called Karim Benzema this summer to convince him to leave Real Madrid but that the forward has rejected any proposal.

“Benzema has rejected Arsenal. There has not been a formal offer to Real Madrid, but this summer Wenger has called for the second straight year.” said the reporter on Cadena COPE where he explained that “the rumour that was going around (implied) was for Dzeko, but in the club they have it clear that it’s neither Dzeko nor anyone else.”

Now. You can plainly see that even though a call was supposedly made, there was an outright rejection, and for the second summer running. I won’t get into the implied tapping up that occurred here, so let’s move on. I find it interesting, as I have told several people, that Madrid had several objectives for the summer and when they saw those objectives weren’t going to be possible, they moved to plan B which was to concentrate on role players and shoring up certain areas of the pitch, which they have done and likely will continue to do. The last bit about Dzeko was a rumour that was floating around about Real Madrid looking at a certain striker and Paco saying that it was dismissed. He went on to clarify that Madrid are not interested in Dzeko or anyone else but still remain intrigued by Castilla prospect Borja Mayoral if they do have a need for a striker. If you are to believe the above report from Paco, you have to believe the entirety of it. You can’t pick and choose what to believe.

Some will say “But remember Özil said he wasn’t going to leave in a press conference!” Yes, that was outwardly in a public setting & while speaking to the press where, despite what is going on behind the scenes, Madrid like to keep everything looking all proper and tidy. Despite him saying this, behind the scenes for the better part of a week, the negotiations where already being finalized for his move. In this instance nothing is being played out publicly so Benzema telling Wenger/Arsenal no over the phone isn’t for theatre. There is no audience to pander to.

Furthermore, the recently extended Benzema is very happy in the Spanish capital and is ready to fight for his place (which Paco alluded to by saying he would indeed have to win his place) and for his squad, Perez still believes in him, and an internal memo conducted by Benitez and staff came to the conclusion that overuse of star players caused timely injuries that led to the trophy-less season. Can things change? Of course they can, but not likely to.

So once again we have a certain part of the media and a certain part of social media that take only the parts of the reports they like and disregard the others. When one starts to edit out parts of reports to suit their wants, I guess you can see how they’ll believe anything.


There has been much said in the British media about a possible raid on Real Madrid by our beloved club.

What is reality? What is media garbage? Where are these links coming from? Let’s look at the four players linked and the reality of the situation.

Casillas – This is the most far-fetched rumour. The likelihood that Lopez keeps Casillas out of the GK duties much longer is small. The only way he would move anywhere is if Ancelotti where to tell him, flat-out, he’s #2 and had no chance, unless injury played a part, to regain his spot. Even then, I see it as an unlikely scenario this late in the window. Let’s say it where to happen, that scenario would see one of the top 3 GK’s in the world(if not the best when on form) on the market and would incite a bidding war Arsenal are unlikely to win. He would be valued above 30m€ in any case. RM is under no obligation to sell with his contract running through 2017.

Benzema – This is the second of unlikely scenarios. Despite being booed by supporters at the Bernabeu, one has to understand that under dire circumstances the likes of Ronaldo, Iker, Ozil, and many others have been booed at one time or another by a very fickle audience. So this has no bearing on his situation, as he’s been cheered many more times than booed. That said, he is also the special project of president Perez and now assistant coach Zidane, without even mentioning the fact that Madrid are his boyhood favorites. There is little chance he leaves, with Madrid having sold Higuain to a view of depending on Benzema, Jese and Morata to fill the position until next year when RM look to add a world-class striker; widely rumoured to be Falcao. Add to this the news that youth team product Alvaro Morata is likely to leave for Espanyol on loan and chances that Benzema is leaving have shrunk even more from the minuscule possibility it was before. Under an increasingly long shot scenario that the striker is sold, he would be valued above 40m€. His agent has also come out recently and proclaimed to be working with the club for an extension.

Ozil – Whilst I also find this move unlikely to occur, it is definitely more possible than the first two. Ozil is very finicky and likes to play in the hole, behind the striker and is unhappy on the wings or being substituted as evidenced last night. Yesterday Ozil was subbed, he shook Ancelotti’s hand, went to the changing room to shower, changed and sat with teammates until the final whistle. Instead of going to the changing room once more, he elected to go straight to the team bus foregoing the mix-zone and speaking with the media. He later tweeted, “6 points in two matches, That is what’s most important.” Earlier it was rumoured that Ozil’s agent, being in the process of working with RM over an extension created rumours of false interest from United and this supposedly angered Madrid. This is what is said to have made the Spanish giants open to a sale. His value would be above 45m€. Madrid have a wealth of midfield depth, so unless a huge offer came in, they’re likely to move a lesser valued member of the squad on.

di Maria – Out of the four players, this is the only name that has been mentioned since the beginning of the summer as a departing player as well as the only player whose initial story was reported from Spain, not Britain. I believe this to be the only clear-cut option of the four. di Maria is a good player, but with the pending arrival of Bale, is seen as surplus as there are many players in Madrid that can play a variety of positions. He has started both matches thus far, but his latest match last night is widely reported to be his last for the club. There has been reported interest from PSG, Galatasaray and other clubs. Most seem to think Arsenal has put in a bid widely reported as “favorable” to Madrid. Only time will tell. His value is at a little over 30m€.

Transfer windows are full of wild speculation and misinformation but most of all, agendas. Why would the British press continuously link Arsenal to names that have very small chances of moving? Ask yourself why AFC losing to Villa is seen as a club in crisis, but City losing to Cardiff is seen as a top effort by a small club? The agenda is clear and has been for some time, so take everything you read with a grain of salt.

To recap, I believe the only name that is possible is di Maria. Ozil may be a possibility but Arsenal would have to nearly triple their transfer record fee to secure that signature. Casillas and Benzema I see as nonsense at this time.

Whoever it is, I expect AFC to sign some players after securing CL group stage football tonight! UTA, COYG!