Real Madrid have offered 32 million euros for Lyon striker Karim Benzema after switching their attention to the France international from Valencia forward David Villa, Marca sports daily reported on Sunday.
Marca said the French have yet to respond to Real’s offer but last week Bernard Lacombe, adviser to Lyon chairman Jean-Michel Aulas, told Marca that “nothing is impossible and if we receive a good offer we will not close the door to anyone.”
Lyon’s director of communication Olivier Blanc said merely that “the only news is Real Madrid contacted Olympique Lyon a few days ago to discuss Karim Benzema.”
“Benzema and Olympique Lyon confirmed his initial desire is to stay another year with Lyon,” Blanc said, adding that was also the club’s preference.
Manchester United are also admirers of Benzema but Real have decided to swoop now given the reluctance of Valencia’s new chairman Manuel Llorente to sell them Spain striker Villa.
Real chairman Florentino Perez, who has already landed Cristiano Ronaldo and Kaka this summer for huge fees, has twice met with Benzema’s agent Karim Djaziri, first in Madrid then Geneva, Marca reported last Wednesday as the chase hotted up.
As well as a cash deal, media reports in Spain say Real and Lyon could look at a part-exchange in the shape of either Real’s Dutch striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar or his compatriot, winger Arjen Robben.
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