Arsenal attacker Santi Cazorla has admitted that every team would like to have “great” Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema, but he doesn’t believe that Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is going to sign another number nine this summer. This is despite the club being financially ready to compete with Chelsea and Manchester City in the transfer window.
Spanish newspaper AS recently reported the French boss has set aside £45.6m ($71m) to get the services of Real Madrid number nine as his new marquee signing of the summer. Wenger denied those reports after the Community Shield victory over Chelsea on Sunday night (2 August) but speculation re-emerged after the striker was left out of the Rafa Benitez squad to face Tottenham in a pre-season game on Tuesday due to an injury.
Cazorla has now admitted the striker would fit perfectly in the Arsenal style but doesn’t believe Wenger is going to bolster the position further this summer: “I don’t know but the manager has said [Arsenal are not interested].
“I’m not very aware on whether there is any interest or not. The manager knows it better than anyone. Benzema is a great player. Every side would like to have him but I think the manager has already his team made and probably he is not looking for another striker. Benzema fits into any team. The good players fits well in every side. He has quality and would adapt great,” Cazorla said during an interview with Cope.
Cazorla admits that after some years of austerity, Arsenal are in a strong financial position to fight with both Chelsea and Manchester City in the transfer window – and consequently for the titles.
Cazorla said: “During some years the priority was to pay the [Emirates] Stadium and the club could not invest in great players. But this has changed in the last two summers. We signed Mesut (Ozil) and Alexis. This summer we have signed Peter Cech who also gives another level to the team.”
“We have signed great players and luckily the club are now ready to fight with Chelsea and Manchester City for signings. We can sign great players and this puts as also closer to them [in the title race].”
Even though Wenger has denied he is interested in signing Benzema, the manager recently opened the door to a new marquee addition after club director Lord Harris claimed the French boss has £200m ($309m) available to spend.