Arsenal have handed Olivier Giroud a new contract worth around £100,000 per week and Arsene Wenger still wants to sign another striker this summer.
Wenger wants to keep Giroud as well as adding a world class striker to the squad and may have felt it was necessary to hand Giroud a new contract first. Giroud’s new contract will only last until 2018 (three more seasons) – as Wenger quite rightly has taken caution with handing the 28 year old such a large contract.
John Cross reports that Wenger is still looking to sign a striker this summer, having sold Lukas Podolski, loaned out Yaya Sanogo and Joel Campbell nearing an exit.
The target for this summer definitely now seems to be Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema. Several reliable sources have confirmed that is the case but at the moment the move will not materialise because Madrid have yet to find a replacement. It is thought Marco Reus currently heads the list of transfer targets for Rafael Benitez at Madrid and if the German were to sign then Benzema would become available. Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Fernando Llorente have also been touted and Wenger will be desperate for Madrid to get a move on so plans to bring Benzema to The Emirates can be accelerated.
If Benzema does become available then Arsenal would surely be his new destination. Wenger seems to have spent a lot of time working on a potential deal, despite it not yet being clear whether or not the Frenchman will be on the market this summer. Arsenal also have a back up option in Robert Lewandowski according to Kike Marin, though the Polish striker is likely to be equally as difficult to acquire.
Arsenal director Lord Harris has let slip that Wenger may break Arsenal’s transfer record this summer: “We get a list of the players that Wenger wants,’ said Lord Harris. “On the list is a centre forward, but I’m not going to tell you who he is. You’ve got to get the other team to want to sell him, but I think he wants to come. It basically comes down to whether the other team can find a superstar to replace him, because they don’t have to sell.”
It is presumed the player he is talking about is of course Benzema.
Quotes from Benzema’s camp dampen the rumours though. His agent recently told SkySports News: “Karim is very happy at Real Madrid and he will be a Real Madrid player by the end of this transfer window, 1,000%, Karim is not looking to move anywhere this summer.”
We all know that could change very quickly though, much like in 2013 where the arrival of Gareth Bale quickly saw Mesut Ozil’s stance change on a move away from Madrid.
If Arsenal do complete a move for a new striker, Chuba Akpom is also likely to leave on loan but for the time being he will be kept as a member of the first team.
Transfer lovers – what we need is Madrid to sign a striker. If they don’t then it is very likely that Arsenal will not make any more additions this summer. If they do, then Benzema to Arsenal moves from a possibility to a probability.