Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Man Utd backed to sign Ballon d’Or winner who’ll revolutionise Ten Hag’s attack

French striker Karim Benzema holding Ballon d'Or trophy

Manchester United have been tipped to spring an almighty shock by signing former Ballon d’Or winner, Karim Benzema, in a move that would make a mockery of missing out on Timo Werner.

The Red Devils are seeking to add an experienced frontman to their forward line this month. Erik ten Hag hopes to lighten the load on Rasmus Hojlund who has struggled to get to grips with the Premier League so far.

The Denmark international cost a hefty £64m when signed from Atalanta and after half a season in England, has scored just a single league goal.

Anthony Martial continues to disappoint as the primary back-up. Martial is out of contract at season’s end and United will cash in this month if a replacement is signed.

However, with the club’s budget frustratingly small, cheaper options and loan opportunities are being explored.

Fabrizio Romano confirmed Man Utd held talks with the representatives of Timo Werner. Sky Sports later revealed United were offered the chance to sign the RB Leipzig and Germany striker.

However, it’s since emerged United failed to act on their interest due to still not knowing precisely what type of player they want to sign. That’s despite the winter window already being a week old.

Tottenham showed no hesitation and quickly agreed a six-month loan deal that contains an option to buy. Werner could make his Spurs debut against Manchester United when the pair square off on Sunday.

With Werner about to be off the table, United are turning their attention to alternative options.

According to former Red Devils frontman, Louis Saha, they should look no further than French superstar, Karim Benzema.

Saudi stint turning sour for Benzema

The 36-year-old lifted the Ballon d’Or in 2022 and currently plies his trade in Saudi Arabia with Al-Ittihad.

However, the bloom is already coming off the rose for many of the major names who took a leap of faith when moving to the middle east last summer.

Indeed, ex-Liverpool pair Jordan Henderson and Roberto Firmino are both angling for a quickfire return to Europe. Our sister site, Planet Football, recently revealed all is not well with Benzema at Al-Ittihad either.

Despite being one of the four Saudi clubs backed by the Public Investment Fund, Al-Ittihad currently sit in a disappointing seventh spot in the SPL.

Planet Football reported the club’s fanbase haven’t taken to Benzema who has recently earned the nickname ‘Ben-Hazima’ which translates to ‘the son of defeat’ in Arabic.

In quotes carried by the Evening Standard, Saha suggested United should cut Benzema’s nightmare in Saudi Arabia short and give him one final crack at the big time in Europe.

Benzema the dream for Man Utd, but is it viable?

“He [Benzema] will shake up the United frontline and that’s what they need,” said Saha.

“He will definitely score goals and he will link up the play a lot better.”

But while Saha went on to claim Benzema would have a momentous effect on Hojlund’s career while acting as a mentor, the pundit also acknowledged a January swoop will be difficult in the extreme to pull off.

“It’s just a dream,” continued Saha. “But Karim is still a very professional guy, he’s the type of striker that Hojlund will learn from, but that’s just a fantasy.”

Benzema is the joint-third highest earner in the SPL, pocketing over £1.65m per week.

The mother of all pay-cuts would be required before a move to United – be it on loan or as a free agent if his contract were terminated – could be classified as even remotely viable.

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