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Transfer Talk: Man United, Arsenal cool interest in Benzema

The winter transfer window is now open in Europe, and there are plenty of moves in the works and gossip swirling around. Transfer Talk brings you all the latest buzz on rumours, comings, goings and, of course, done deals!

TOP STORY: Man Utd, Arsenal cool on Benzema

Karim Benzema could struggle to find a new club in January, with Manchester United and Arsenal unlikely to make a move for the Al Ittihad forward, according to Ben Jacobs.

Benzema joined the Saudi Pro League outfit last summer from Real Madrid on a free transfer, however the 36-year-old is reportedly already eager to depart the club. The France international has been excluded from training by Al Ittihad boss Marcelo Gallardo after returning late from his mid-season holiday in Mauritius.

Manchester United have struggled to find a consistent source of goals in the Premier League this season, however, it is understood that United’s interest in signing Benzema is not as strong as some believe.

Meanwhile, Arsenal are also reportedly keen on attacking reinforcements, with Gabriel Jesus and Eddie Nketiah the only recognised forwards at the club, however, the Gunners have not made any contact regarding a possible deal for Benzema. With the transfer window rapidly progressing, Jacobs reports that it is unlikely that a move to the Premier League will materialise.

A return to Lyon could be a more feasible option for Benzema with John Textor, the majority shareholder of the Ligue 1 club, keen on the move. Despite this, it is reported that this would not be possible without a substantial wage cut for the 2022 Ballon d’Or winner, which could make a transfer difficult.

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– Manchester United will allow defender Raphaël Varane to leave the club at the end of his contract this summer, reports Football Insider. The 30-year-old has been linked with a move away from the Red Devils after struggling to regain his spot in the first team, however, it is reported that he will stay until the end of the season. The report indicates that whilst United have an option to extend his deal by a further year, this is unlikely with the club keen to free up wages.

– Bayer Leverkusen are looking into a potential move for Moise Kean, however the forward looks set to join Atletico Madrid instead, reports Sky Sports Deutschland’s Florian Plettenberg. The Juventus forward will reportedly be allowed to depart Turin this month, and while he has attracted the attention of Leverkusen, Plettenberg suggests that the Italy international is on the verge of securing a loan deal with Atleti.

– Nottingham Forest are in advanced talks to strike a loan deal for Ajax Amsterdam winger Carlos Forbs, according to Fabrizio Romano. The 19-year-old joined Ajax last summer from Manchester City, however he could be set for a return to England. Alongside Forbs, sources have told ESPN that Forest also want to secure a deal for Borussia Dortmund winger Giovanni Reyna.

– Atletico Madrid are closing in on finalising a deal for Antwerp midfielder Arthur Vermeeren, reveals Fabrizio Romano. It is reported that while the two clubs have agreed upon a €22m fee, the agreement is not finalised, with the contract details still being sorted between the player and Atleti.

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