Man Utd look to replace pricey flop with long-term Arsenal target

Radamel Falcao’s failure to light any colour touch paper on loan at Old Trafford has led Manchester United into a potential tussle with Arsenal over the signature of Real Madrid star Karim Benzema.

It feels like the French international striker has been on the cusp of a Premier League switch for several summers now, where up until now the Emirates, or even Anfield, have appeared the most likely destinations.

Liverpool’s chances have disappeared thanks to Champions League oblivion, paving the way for United to throw their hats into the ring for the £40m-rated striker.

Given the remote chances of an extension to Falcao’s ill-fated stay at Old Trafford, and Robin van Persie’s future also hanging in the balance, the appetite for world-class recruitment up front is growing ravenous.

Backed by the Glazers’ supposed war chest, Louis van Gaal will only be aiming for the cream of the continent and Benzema’s pedigree in front of goal means he fits that bill perfectly.

The 27-year-old forward has hit at least 20 goals in his past five seasons with Madrid, boasting a senior strike-rate of very nearly one-in-two combining his earlier career at Lyon too.

Benzema is also a trusted source of goals for his country, racking up 25 goals in 75 Les Bleus appearances, placing him in the higher echelons of worldwide centre-forwards.

Strangely, at the Bernabeu his popularity has often fluctuated over his six seasons, despite compiling tallies that most strikers would beg for.

Much will depend on the assessments of incoming Los Blancos manager Rafael Benitez, when the Spaniard supposedly takes the reins in place of the desperately mistreated Carlo Ancelotti.

However, with relations good between the clubs from past business, this is a rumour which could easily bear fruit this summer.

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