Is Karim Benzema Joining Serie A?
The latest reports are indicating Frenchman Karim Benzema could be headed to Italy after just a season in Spain. The striker has failed to impress up to this stage in the season record signing Cristiano Ronaldo and Argentine Gonzalo Higuain handling most of the scoring load.
Despite scoring a respectable seven times in 19 league appearances, Real Madrid could be looking to cash in on their investment and use the funds to bring another striker with David Villa strongly linked with a move to the capital side.
According to rumours in Italy, Los Galacticos might offer Benzema to the two Milan sides but how would Benzema fit at Inter with the club comfortably covered in attack. The Italian champions have Samuel Eto’o, Diego Milito and Goran Pandev all of whom were signed at one this season. The Nerazzurri also have the unpredictable yet talented youngster Mario Balotelli in their ranks as well. Balotelli could be moved due to his shaky relationship with Jose Mourinho but club president Massimo Moratti might veto selling the young striker.
As opposed to Inter, rivals Milan could stand to benefit from signing Benzema since summer signing Klaas-Jan Huntelaar has failed to hold a starring role with the team. Huntelaar has seen limited playing time under Coach Leonardo and was rumoured to be on the way out during the January transfer window but he ended up staying. Milan have seen a shortage of strikers as Alexandre Pato just returned from injury featuring against Udinese while Marco Borriello has had an intermittent season. Borriello has done a decent job but his injuries remain a concern. Finally, veteran Filippo Inzaghi will likely leave the club at the end of the season which implies Benzema will be a welcome addition to Milanello.
If he does move to Milan, the main concern becomes whether he will succeed in the tough and tactical Italian league as opposed to the more open la Liga. Inter have no need for Benzema but Milan could use him to partner Pato if Huntelaar is sold, Inzaghi leaves or retires, and Borriello settles in a reserve role. The asking price could also determine whether investing in Benzema is worth the risk with the Spanish giants reportedly willing to lose money and list the striker at much lower than the price paid to bring him to Madrid.