Chelsea are set to make a first move for Karim Benzema today ahead of a possible Stamford Bridge transfer, according to reports.
Chelsea striker rumours
The Blues have been linked with a number of forwards during the January transfer window as Todd Boehly looks to bolster Mauricio Pochettino’s current attacking ranks. Nicolas Jackson has been away with Senegal at the Africa Cup of Nations, leaving Armando Broja as the only fit and available centre-forward.
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However, it looks as if Chelsea are open to selling the Albanian before the deadline, with Crystal Palace, Fulham, West Ham and Wolves all expressing an interest in the 22-year-old, who is valued at £35m. Should Broja depart, then a short-term solution could be looked at by the Blues, especially as a move for top target Victor Osimhen is looking more likely in the summer.
One of those players who has been linked with a move to Stamford Bridge for the second half of the season has been Al-Ittihad forward Benzema, with Chelsea holding internal talks over a deal. Now, it looks as if they are ready to make their move.
Karim Benzema transfer update
The Daily Express shared an update in their live transfer blog on Wednesday morning, claiming the Blues are closing in on Benzema and are expected to make contact over a deal today.
“Chelsea are today expected to make contact with Karim Benzema over a move to the club – with a loan move the favoured option for both parties. Benzema has reportedly submitted a formal request to leave Al-Ittihad, having been made to train alone after returning late from his holiday.”
Benzema, the 2022 Ballon d’Or winner, is now 36 years of age and made the move to the Saudi Pro League last summer after leaving Real Madrid. He has continued to find the back of the net on a regular basis with his new side and has over 450 goals for club and country during his career.
The Frenchman has, as expected, come in for plenty of praise during his career, including from pundit Joe Cole, who said:
“The levels this lad is hitting are unbelievable. Him and (midfielder Luka) Modric have been almost a decade together and they know each other so well. He’s just a joy to watch.”
Meanwhile, Steve McManaman added:
“People across Europe are really starting to view him (as a great player). He’s not just a good finisher, he’s an extraordinary football player.”
Therefore, on a short-term solution, Benzema could well be open to playing in the Premier League for the first time in his career, and Chelsea are seemingly keen on the idea of having the striker on their books for the remainder of the campaign, making this one to watch.