Karim Benzema’s protracted move to us continues to dominate the column inches with Guardian writer Emanuele Giulianelli claiming via his Twitter page that the Frenchman has agreed a four-year deal with us worth €9million per year.
Giulianelli, who on his personal Twitter account professes to work for a number of publications including FourFourTwo and Radio Yorkshire, remains the only outlet currently reporting this story.
— Emanuele Giulianelli (@EmaGiulianelli) August 5, 2015
— Guardian sport (@guardian_sport) February 3, 2015
While Giulianelli’s work for The Guardian isn’t great in number, he has written featured pieces for the publication; including the one above regarding Arvid Schenk’s, rather unfortunate, debut for Dundee.
Given that The Guardian’s official Twitter account included the Italian’s personal Twitter handle when promoting his piece, it seemingly proves that he isn’t currently being impersonated on social media by a fake account.
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However, with a number of credible outlets maintaining that Benzema’s reported move to Arsenal is a non-starter, including Spanish expert Guillem Balague (via the Daily Star), Giulianelli’s latest update must be taken with a pinch of salt.
Also, Real Madrid boss Rafa Benitez was once again adamant about Benzema’s future when he was questioned in a press conference as his side prepared to take part in the Audi Cup.
Arsenal transfer news
“My answer is that I think Benzema is going to stay with us,” the former Liverpool boss was quoted as saying (via Sky Sports).
“I’m very happy with him. There’s no reason to think that he’s going to go.”
Having said that, few can deny that stories linking Benzema to us refuse to go away despite the denial from both camps, and Goal today reports that Arsene Wenger is refusing to give up on his man.
The report suggests that, similar to the Mesut Ozil situation in 2013, the boss is prepared to wait until the final moments of the window to clinch the signing of his compatriot.
This concurs with the latest reports emanating from Spain, with the reliable radio station Cadena Ser stating that Wenger’s interest in Benzema is ‘100% real’, and that we’ve set aside €60million in order to entice Real Madrid into selling their star striker (via the Metro).
While the consistent reports about our interest in Benzema may be correct, it would be fair to assume that Giulianelli’s latest take on the situation is rather premature.
In order for us to agree personal terms with the player, we must first agree a fee with Real Madrid and there is yet to be any indications of a deal being reached between the two clubs.
To those who despise this time of year in the football calendar, this ‘saga’ will definitely rumble on.