Karim Benzema Transfer A Blow To Manchester United’s Summer Plans


Just when you thought Real Madrid had sated their appetite for extravagant attacking ability in the transfer market, with the signings of Ronaldo and Kaka, they swoop for one of French football’s most prized assets in a deal reported to be worth up to 41 million euro. The signing of Karim Benzema from Lyon takes Real Madrid’s summer spending past the 200 million euro mark and into the realm of pure fantasy, if it had not reached that point already!

Returning President Florentino Perez has left no doubt as to his intentions with the signing of three massive attacking talents, at different stages of their respective football development. The potential options available to manager Mauricio Pellegrini are now quite staggering but one gets the impression Perez will add some pragmatism to his project. Real have already secured Spanish defender Raul Albiol and they are also being heavily linked with a move for Liverpool midfielder Xabi Alonso. 

Real Madrid have sent a clear message to their domestic rivals Barcelona but Perez has also fired a broadside at the hegemonic position of the English Premier League clubs as he looks to eclipse the glamour of the previous ‘Galactico’ period at the club.

The transfer of Benzema to Real Madrid further underlines their current economic dominance over the likes of Liverpool and Arsenal but also delivers a blow to Manchester United as Sir Alex Ferguson looks to rebuild his side this summer. After allowing their prized asset Cristiano Ronaldo to leave for Madrid in a world record fee, Mancheser United have been forced to watch as Real pinch a player that has been on their wish list for some time.

Alex Ferguson has admired the 21 year old French striker since his impressive performances against Manchester United in last year’s Champions League, where he scored a superb goal at the Stade Gerland. Benzema has been linked with many of Europe’s top clubs since he rose to prominence in France’s Ligue 1, but one name that was nearly constant was that of the English champions, Manchester United.

A statement from Lyon today has made it clear where Benzema saw his future, their website revealed: “The player wanted to seize the opportunity which Real Madrid offered him to be one of the major elements in their new ambitious project based around the greatest players in the world.”

It is unclear how deeply involved Manchester United were in the negotiations to sign Benzema but a snub from one of Europe’s brightest talents would be a blow to Manchester United’s prestige as well as their plans to reconquer Europe following Barcelona’s Champions League triumph.

It will be interesting to see where Manchester United now turn their attention as they look to replace the goals of Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez. It is one thing to have a substantial transfer budget but quite another to find the right kind of players to bring into the club. The addition of Antonio Valencia will add power and pace to their attacking play but United fans must be anxious about the strength of their striking options.

There are a number of strikers that could be on the move this summer but many of them do not seem to be the right fit for the Premiership champions. If David Villa leaves Valencia he does not appear interested in a move away from Spain and Manchester United will surely not countenance offering Samuel Eto’o the kind of wage deal Manchester City are prepared to pay. What about Franck Ribery, surely the signing of Benzema signals the end of Madrid’s interest in the winger?

Manchester United’s next move in the transfer market will be a significant one as Alex Ferguson looks to re-invent his team but Real Madrid will continue to cast a very long shadow during the summer transfer window.

21 thoughts on “Karim Benzema Transfer A Blow To Manchester United’s Summer Plans”

  1. It’s not a good thing to lose options but if this means there is more chance of signing Aguero then I’m all for it.

    Aguero is an incredible player and lives upto the hype of past South American footballing legends.

    Come on fergie.

  2. “Aguero is an incredible player and lives up to the hype of past South American footballing legends”

    Hmmm, he has never managed to score 20 league goals, so whereas he is good, hardly a legend, and not worth more than 25 million pounds

    Lets get the French guy, Andre-Pierre Gignac from Toulouse who scored 24 goals last year, as compared to Benzema’s 17

    1. It’s not all about goals what seperates Benzema from the likes of Gignac is when players like Benzema are playing against a top team and a good defense they can do well.

      Players like Gignac play fine against inferior teams with inferior defense but have little other than just kicking it in when it comes to them.

      We need a player up front with more presence and a lot more prowess. An intelligent player who will give defenders problems not just a finisher.

      Just look at Agueros performance against Barcelona and you can see he’s very gifted and that is a kid playing in one of the top leagues in the world that is still 21.

      With a few years of maturing to go he has sensational natural abilities and will probably develop quite well with world class players surround him.

      I’d pick Aguero over Benzema without a second though.

      I think if Aguero can be snapped up for 30 million that would still leave like 60 to 80 million in the budget so the spending spree is anything but done.

  3. Yeah, not the first time United have missed out on someone they were really after, Ronaldinho and Robben.
    I think Aguero is a more accomplished player than Benzema at this point, you see what he did to Barcelona last season at the Vincente Calderon? Super player.

  4. Lets get the French guy, Andre-Pierre Gignac from Toulouse who scored 24 goals last year, as compared to Benzema’s 17

    Hmmm, prolific goalscorer alone will never be “sure-fire formula” to win things. Just look at the all time prolific RVN that Man Utd once have. How many things have he won with them?

    You need a “winner-striker” i.e. a striker who can win you things, win you difficult matches, prolific or not is not the point, the main point is if he is CRUCIAL or not, if he has the talent to start/lead the attacking moves and push the whole team forward to attack or not.

    Man Utd should have kept Tevez.

  5. It s a slap in the face to lose another star player to Madrid and then have them swoop for Benzema from under our noses.

  6. Guys, please be serious, Gignac… I’m french, I saw him play several times and I can tell you that he is way overrated.

    Do not compare him with Benzema, Karim is 100000000x better than Gignac.
    Even Hoarau or Sessegnon from Paris SG, Chamack from Bordeaux, and Niang from Olympique Marseille are way better than Gignac. Gignac is a finisher, and most of his goals were “easy goals”, he’s really not worth ManUtd. (I’m not a ManUtd fan)

  7. personally i favour aguero and villa. what about david silva instead of ribery? benzema never wanted to join united, so why cry over him? i think he’s overrated anyway. was never impressed when he played for france, neither was he impressive in the CL matches against united.

  8. I agree, Aguero is probably a better player than Benzema.

    There’s still plenty of other options available for United as well.

    If anything, this signing, as pointed out, makes it much less likely that Real will go after Ribery. This should drive his price down. Bayern are holding out for a King’s ransom, but this will not happen. Ribery simply isn’t worth the figure they have placed on him.

    Not to mention that there are still plenty of talented players out there, including Silva and Villa (this latest move for Benzema, IMO, puts him off of Real’s radar as well).

  9. Not to worry. Not landing Benzema isn’t the end of the world. What about Robben or even bringing back Forlan (if he is available and not injured)?

  10. No to Robben, more egotistical than Ronaldo and not even half as good. What caused Forlan to fail the first time he was here at OT? Was it the physicality or something else?

    As for Aguero, he’s an amazing player but we need a big target man. Not another Tevez-sized player to play up top with Rooney. We need someone that both Berba and Rooney can both exchange with and play off of. Losing Benzema was a HUGE blow. I also heard that Madrid were going to sign LeBron, D-Wade, Chris Bosh and Amare in 2010.

  11. sign jozy altidore, hes young, so you can mold him, hes big and strong(as seen in confeds cup) and has a strong foot, im more or less saying this because im american and want him to go to a top team but i think he ould be good, or how about kuranyi from shalke or hell go for ibrahimavic if you want to spend, even peter crouch from portsmouth, hes a giant, not great heading i know but hes better than macheda

  12. Well my vote still goes to Aguero but I think there are a lot of options out there.

    How about Lukas Podolski? He had problems at Bayern Munich but hes done well for his domestic club and for Germanys national team.

    For all the big famous names out there we are missing out on a lot of players just as good if not better who don’t have the big name just yet.

    I’m not really concerned about who gets signed for striking with Berba and Rooney already available I think the midfield could do with propping up more than anything.

  13. Aguero? you must be joking. Lets replace the player SAF should have held on to with another player of the same mold…not a smart move. He will encounter the same playing time issues Tevez did.

    Benzema is better than Aguero, hands down.

    Berba and Rooney are the 2 main strikers we need up top, and given consistent playing time together, they can develop into a more dangerous force than they already are. If we bring in another big name, all we’re gonna see is clashing egos in the dressing room.

    Welbeck and Macheda have shown the potential to become great players and can fill in when needed. Nani is also a keen attacker and can do the job as well.

    The CL final showed that our weakness is in the midfield…we need to fix that before we can compete with the top teams in Europe again. This might take some time tho, the team is going to have to patiently rebuild

  14. i guess Sir Alex mite be having sumthing up his sleeve already. no1 s remembered Bastian Schweinsteiger, Diego Biseswar from Feyernood, gud xcitin players… xpecting results soon…

  15. UPDATE: Apparently Michael Owen is having a medical at Manchester United tommorow.
    Did not see that one coming.

  16. I think benzema’s loss is a big blow to manu and epl. Paul thanks for bringing bastian Schweinsteiger up, who i think is one of the most underrated players of this time. i want to see him in epl really bad cuz i think he deserves a lot better than bayern munchen (no offense to any bayern fans ). but i can’t wait for the season to start cuz i think its one of the most exciting ones.
    and p.s. i am wondering what will real madrid do with all the “stars” they have?

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