Chelsea and Man City to rival Arsenal for Karim Benzema

Karim Benzema, who is a long time transfer target of Arsenal is reported to be in the January short-list of fellow Premier League rivals Chelsea and Manchester City.

The 28-year old is a vital part of the Real Madrid set-up since his arrival from Lyon in 2009 and is favorite of the fans and President Florentino Perez. But the recent off field controversies surrounding the Valbuena sex tape allegations are not well-received by some of his team mates at the Spanish capital.

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The Gunners manager Arsene Wenger is a huge fan of the French international and he has been repeatedly trying to bring the French international to the Emirates Stadium in recent years, with the latest attempt coming in summer transfer window of the current season.

Karim Benzema is Arsenal’s primary target for next season, but are now poised to face a big threat in their ambitions with two of the richest Premier League clubs in the form of Chelsea and Manchester City are set out for his signature in January.

Chelsea have struggled in their attacking department all season long with Diego Costa’s form taking a steep decline and the likes of Falcao and Loic Remy proving inadequate to provide any depth for the 2014/15 Premier League winners. The Blues have short-listed pottential replacements for the Brazil born Spain international and now Benzema will top the list.

Manchester City are over dependent on Sergio Aguero to get goals after they have let the likes of Dzeko and Negredo leave the club at the beginning of the season. Bony and Sterling have covered the deficit at times when the Argentina international is sidelined due to injury, but they are looking to bring the Frenchman to comply with the like to like policy of replacement for every position at the Ethihad.

There are also various reports suggestion that Benzema has fallen out with Madrid coach Rafa Benitez, which is one of the reasons he wants to leave Santiago Bernabeu in the January transfer window.

At the same time, Real Madrid have no genuine strikers other than Benzema and it is unlikely that they let him leave until unless a direct replacement is brought in January. It has been rumored that the Los Blancos are tracking Lewandowski of Bayern Munich and Morato of Juventus.

Karim Benzema is currently suspended from the national team over sex tape blackmail case and it would not be eligible to be picked for the France squad for Euro 2016 finals if the charges are not dropped by June.