Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Mind-blowing Man Utd transfer possible as Ten Hag gets two stars to convince Real Madrid ace on move; Arsenal also in pursuit

Karim Benzema and Vinicius Junior of Real Madrid

Manchester United and Arsenal are the two Premier League clubs who could sign a world-class player from Real Madrid, with reports claiming he is ‘stalling’ on a new contract.

Man Utd and Arsenal both picked up wins on their return to league action, following the recent World Cup break. Man Utd picked up a comfortable 3-0 victory over Nottingham Forest at Old Trafford on Tuesday night.

Marcus Rashford ran the show, scoring his team’s first goal and setting up Anthony Martial for their second. Fred found the net in the 87th minute to round off a great night for Erik ten Hag’s side.

Arsenal were similarly impressive against fellow London team West Ham. Having gone behind to a Said Benrahma penalty in the first half, goals from Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli and Eddie Nketiah after the break saw the Gunners continue their great form.

Despite things looking positive for both Prem giants, they do have issues to sort out in the upcoming January transfer window.

Man Utd could do with adding a striker to their ranks following Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure in November. Ten Hag will also require a new right-back if Aaron Wan-Bissaka is sold.

Arsenal, meanwhile, may need a striker of their own due to Gabriel Jesus’ knee surgery. Nketiah will hope to deputise for Jesus over the coming months, but Arteta and Sporting Director Edu will definitely be looking at more experienced options to fill the void up front.

The Daily Express, who cite reports coming out of Spain, have now brought up the possibility of either Man Utd or Arsenal completing a monumental striker transfer.

Man Utd, Arsenal eyeing Ballon d’Or winner

It is claimed Man Utd and Arsenal are the two English sides interested in capturing Ballon d’Or winner Karim Benzema from Real.

His contract at the Bernabeu expires in June. Real have begun talks over an extension, but have so far been unable to meet Benzema’s demands.

The Frenchman wants a new two-year deal with a hefty pay rise. As Real are yet to submit such an offer, Benzema is ‘stalling’ the contract discussions.

This has apparently ‘opened the door’ for Man Utd or Arsenal to cause a major shock and bring Benzema to the Premier League.

One crucial factor may give the Red Devils the upper hand in the Benzema chase, too. Ten Hag is planning to ask Casemiro and Raphael Varane to convince Benzema to link up with Man Utd, rather than any of his other potential suitors.

Benzema could be convinced by former team-mates

The 35-year-old will be inclined to listen to Casemiro and Varane given the fact they played at Real together for several years.

It would be brilliant to see Benzema move to the Prem. He has never played in England before and it would be a big draw for crowds over here. Given the fact he hit 44 goals last season, he would almost certainly rip up Prem defences if he joined Man Utd or Arsenal.

However, there are a few reasons why such a move is unlikely. The first is Benzema’s strong affection for Real. He has played for them since 2009 and has won a host of trophies in that time. Even if there are problems in the contract renewal talks, these will probably be ironed out over the coming weeks.

Plus, there would be big question marks over whether Benzema would swap a club the size of Real for Man Utd or Arsenal. Los Blancos have won five Champions League titles since 2014. Man Utd’s last triumph in the competition came in 2008, while Arsenal have never won it.

While Benzema would be a fantastic player for either side, their current managers probably wouldn’t want him. Ten Hag has only just got rid of one ageing striker in the form of Ronaldo. He wouldn’t want another, Benzema, to join and possibly scupper the development of some of the younger forwards.

Arteta is benefitting from a similar project at Arsenal, where he relies on young players or those who are in their prime. As such, Arsenal are more likely to move for a player like Joao Felix than Benzema.

Meanwhile, Thursday’s Euro Paper Talk claims Man Utd are planning to bid for a Chelsea flop.