Manchester United are currently not in the running to sign Al-Ittihad striker Karim Benzema, according to journalist Fabrizio Romano.
Writing in his Daily Briefing column, Romano said that “sources at the club” have told him that it is “really unlikely” the France international will make the switch to Old Trafford this month.
Speculation about United’s interest in Benzema emerged following the news that Anthony Martial is expected to be out for an extended period after undergoing surgery on a thigh injury.
It means that Rasmus Hojlund is the only recognised senior striker that manager Erik ten Hag has available to him in the first-team squad.
However, Romano claims that United’s stance on recruiting a new No.9 has not changed for one key reason.
United don’t have the financial resources to sign a high-profile forward
The Red Devils are hamstrung by the fact that they do not have room in their budget to splash out on a new striker this month.
There are claims that Benzema could move on loan, but that doesn’t mean the 36-year-old could be brought in for free. He is currently earning £1.6m a week at Al-Ittihad and it’s likely that United would have to pay the majority of his salary if he were signed. Over a six-month period, it would cost the club the best part of £40m.
Benzema will have to have accept a massive pay cut
A lot will depend on how determined the forward is in wanting to leave Al-Ittihad. He is certainly not short of suitors, with Chelsea, Arsenal and his former club Lyon joining United in pursuing his signature.
However, Benzema would have to agree to sacrifice most of his wages if he wants to move back to Europe before the transfer window shuts next week.