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Benzema Reportedly Interested in Move to Merseyside

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Liverpool, however, are unlikely to reciprocate.

Real Madrid CF v Liverpool FC - UEFA Champions League Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

It might just be that sufficient time has passed since the last transfer window, or perhaps that fans have — as a result of the team's development this season — come to trust Jürgen Klopp's preferred squad building method, but it seems the term marquee signing has gone completely out of style. Ever since the glorious days of Rafa Benitez — when yearly Champions League qualification was a given — came to an end, Reds fans have clamoured for high-profile, big-name signings to prove that, even though the club isn't competing at the very top level, it can still attract the very top talent.

FSG, maligned though they are, haven't been afraid of pulling the trigger on marquee fees, but the names — Andy Carroll, Christian Benteke, Adam Lallana, even current top performers Sadio Mané and Roberto Firmino — haven’t quite tickled fans' fancy in the manner they'd prefer. To some, the player's fit in the system or which other squad needs go unmended is immaterial, it is the message a big-name signing sends to the competition — and other top players — that is of importance.

This rumour, then — courtesy of absurdly baller-named paper Don Balon — will be appreciated by the marquee signing fetishists. It claims that Karim Benzema is ready to leave Santiago Bernabeu, and that Merseyside is among his favoured destinations. Now, this idea is in and of itself not unreasonable. Benzema has struggled to amass minutes for los blancos this season, sharing time at the lone striker position with Alvaro Morata and Cristiano Ronaldo. Turning 30 this year, it isn't unlikely that a new and shiny galactico will replace the former Lyon striker in the summer, and a move may be on the cards. Liverpool look set to compete in the Champions League, and are able to offer a sizeable wage packet. So far, so good.

Where it gets tricky is at the other end of the deal. Benzema, even coming off his worst season for Real, is a terrific spear head striker, possessing size, athleticism, technical ability and world-class finishing. However, Jürgen Klopp already has one of those, and even when healthy, Daniel Sturridge hasn’t been anywhere close to ousting Roberto Firmino from the central forward spot. Benzema can do all the lone striker things — hold up play, involve others, set up or finish chances — but his defensive work rate has never been a strong suit, and is unlikely to become one in the twilight of his career. Arsenal, both Milano sides, and Paris Saint-Germain are also reportedly sniffing around, which means bidding war, and the Reds generally don't get involved in those.

All of which adds up to big name, big money, bad fit. Or as Klopp would probably put it, not the coolest thing. The Reds will add at least one attacker this summer. Karim Benzema won't be one of them.