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BBC: Arsenal target Angel Di Maria and Karim Benzema

In an interesting turn of events, Arsenal are going after Angel Di Maria and Karim Benzema

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Jasper Juinen

According to David Ornstein of the BBC, Arsenal are "working on deals" to sign Real Madrid's Angel Di Maria and Karim Benzema. Having given up on Luis Suarez, it seems Arsenal are finally working on the plan B (or C/D/Z) deals; deals that may have come about because of other transfers. That certainly applies with Di Maria. While the Argentina international can play on both wings, the imminent arrival of Gareth Bale will likely relegate Di Maria to second choice, and with Isco having also joined, Di Maria could see his playing time limited. Perhaps, in other years, Di Maria would stay and fight for his place, but, it's a World Cup year, and his role in the Argentina side isn't defined or safe. Arsenal were interested in Di Maria when he originally moved to Europe, and thus, interest now isn't much of a surprise.

Nor is it with Benzema. The French striker is another one who is seemingly perennially linked with Arsenal, again because of long-standing interest. Benzema is one of the more complete strikers in the world, and has shown the ability to work in a partnership with Olivier Giroud as well as his showing at club level to play as the lone striker. The link is backed up by Jeremy Wilson of the Telegraph, who reports, like Ornstein, that Arsenal are working on a GBP40m deal for Benzema. Seemingly, Madrid's need for funds could see a move happen, despite Madrid already selling Gonzalo Higuain this summer. Again, Bale is the key: if he joins, Cristiano Ronaldo may play upfront. Another possibility is that Madrid move for Luis Suarez, thereby freeing Benzema to join Arsenal.

As ever, a lot of this is speculation, and it remains to be seen whether it will come to fruition. It is, however, encouraging to see Arsenal linked with the likes of Benzema and Di Maria rather than the likes of Michu.