Manchester United monitoring Ozil & Benzema according to MEN

Karim Benzema

David Gill’s been talking again; saying Sir Alex Ferguson could yet dip into the transfer market before the August deadline if he so wishes. Manchester Evening News are interpreting it as one possible “world class” signing, but claim Fergie is monitoring the situations of both Mezut Ozil and Karim Benzema.

With the earlier news that Sir Alex is deliberating over whether to add Owen Hargreaves and / or Anderson in the 25 man squad for the Premier League next season, the midfield suddenly looks very light and incredibly pedestrian – four names (Fletcher, Carrick, Scholes and Gibson) with little room for rotation.

It looks as if Werder have started to put the feelers out for potential suitors for their talented young playmaker Ozil – the German international doesn’t want to sign a new contract in the knowlege that he could instantly pocket a very handsome signing on fee next year. Ozil has the added bonus of being able to operate wide of a front three and while I believed the rumours of a £25m price tag last week were way over the top for someone so close to the end of his existing deal, at £12-15m he probably represents good value.

Benzema is a curious case. My initial thoughts back in 2008 when we were linked with him were ones of excitement. Exactly the forward we were looking for. By last summer I had changed my mind and though we did lodge a bid only to usurped by Real Madrid at the last minute, I had already made clear I didn’t want the player at Old Trafford.

12 months down the line and Benzema was left in the shade by Higuain and Ronaldo at the Bernabeu last season and has seen his reputation blown to smithereens after his alleged dalliance into carnal activity. Ferguson’s reputation of taking a troubled player and getting the best out of them is impressive; with such admiration over the Algerian born frontman unlikely to have completely diminished over the last 12 months it’s probably fair to say that at least the Fergie of old would have been eager to put an arm around the young man and not only help him rediscover his true form but become a cult hero at the club. Much would depend on his potential legal punishment and the consequences that would have on his status at Real Madrid, but Ferguson is nothing if not canny. Whether or not he has the inclination for such a task at this stage of his own career is another issue entirely and United are pretty well stocked up front, even if Dimitar Berbatov is looking like (in pre-season, at least) not improving or showing any indication of changing his game.

I think we’re pretty well balanced as we are though the absence of Anderson from our 25 man squad would instantly make me think a creative midfielder; up front, even though I’m not entirely comfortable with Berbatov, I’m happy to stick by my beliefs posted on this page earlier in the summer that we should give those a chance who we currently have. My stance on Benzema has softened somewhat; he got the move he wanted, fair play to him. If he wanted to “rediscover himself” and was available at a bargain price then fair enough; at £25m I wouldn’t go near him at this moment in time.

This is of course going along with the debatable validity of Gill’s comments. According to him, of course, we should still have £80m from last year burning a hole in Fergie’s pocket..

18 Comments on Manchester United monitoring Ozil & Benzema according to MEN

  1. The only thing that makes me wonder is that if Ozil is available how come no other club is being touted as a potential suitor? Which makes me think that he really is not available.
    Also, I think Fergie doesn’t buy players just based on World Cup performance. Last time he did, didn’t go that well (I forgot the name of the player). Haven’t seen him do that since then.
    Benzema.. doubt it.. we already have too many attacking players.. I think Hernandez slots right in, the way Rooney slotted into the team.
    I could be wrong as well but just my thoughts

  2. If there is any substance to Gill’s comments about funds being available, then I would personally like to see us go for Ozil only. I would have welcomed Benzema two years ago, but now I wouldn’t touch him with a barge pole – a liability in my opinion.


  4. I think Ozil would be a really good signing as i think anderson will be probably excluded until january as he’s injured as for Benzema i think he could regain his form at Utd as Madrid only bought him as they didnt want Utd to have him and Zidane also persuaded him to go Madrid I think £40 million for both would easily make up the loss of both ronaldo and trvez

  5. First of all, expecting Benzema to score a lot of goals is as likely as Brian Blessed giving you the silent treatment…

    But you have swayed me slightly with your point about Ozil. Is four midfielders enough? I stuck by the notion that United don’t need to sign any more players; but I’ve changed my angle a tad upon reading this. He is good value for someone as versatile…I’m thinking he’ll fit in perfectly. I’ve always felt, however, buying big name players stifle opportunities for the younger players; in my opinion, Cleverley and Gibson are ready to step up. Really, I haven’t got a point. I’m not sure what to think, really.

    But certainly Benzema is a no-no. Overrated.

  6. If I could sign one player for United right now… i’d have no effing idea who.
    My ideal would be an experienced 26-27 yo attacking midfielder, but I don’t see anyone in the market. And Sir Alex is probably right in there being little value in the market. (Milner for more than 24million? Are you having a laugh??)
    Özil for 15-17 would be good, but still a bit of a gamble. I’m pretty sure he’ll be a better player than Ando over the next 10 years, but I’m still not giving up on the latter, so adding a youngster to the squad is probably not a priority.
    With my eternal optimist hat on which still lovingly preserved from every pre-season in the 80s (anyone else remember gazing adoringly at the Brazil-Strachan-Olsen New Signings poster and thinking “champions for sure”) here goes:
    Berba to play to his full potential
    Ando to come through
    AllNewNani continuing to play like AllNewNani
    No 2nd season jitters for Valencia
    No 8-defenders-out-injured scenario like last season.
    Scholesie and Giggs to have excellent last seasons
    Rafael, Fabio, Jonny, Obertan, Kiko and Smalling to break through (Rafael, Jonny and Obertan my greatest hopes)
    Chicharito to become a sensation. Or pretty damn good at least.
    Owen to stay un-injured for the occasional goal off the bench.
    Is all that too much to ask? Probably
    But if only most of that happens (especially no eternal injury crises) we’ll do well this season.

  7. Don’t forget Ozil will only just in he next few days be back from holiday after a long world cup, so that’s perhaps why Ozil himself has remained silent on his future over the last couple of weeks. Werder have become frustrated in their attemps to secure a new contract and would listen to offers given that he could go for free next year. He’s spoke of his admiration for Man United and Chelsea recently, so it’s not an impossible task to get him at OT. Fergie should just go in with an offer of 20 million to force Werders hands.

  8. Sir – the point which immediately looms out of United’s midfield for me is that Darron Gibson is not a United class midfielder. He is too one dimensional and slow. He makes Scholes look like Nijinsky! I have no axe to grind against the lad but I honestly see no improvement in him since he first came into the team.

    Someone like Ozil for me would fit the bill as we are sadly lacking in creativity from midfield. It is true but worrying that Giggs and then Scholes are still our most crative players in the side.

    If United do have money to spend, we are not being served well leaving it in the bank when the midfield surely needs major surgery. On the other hand if Fergie is not being given money for signings – we really are in trouble.

  9. You’ll know that I agree in general; I blogged that we don’t need any new players. However yeah, with the squad as it is it looks light in midfield. Fergie all but said Cleverley will go out on loan, so he won’t get a chance either! Ozil at £12-15m would be a good deal.. glad I changed your mind. Welcome to the dark side 😉

  10. Not going to be happening ,its a double act fergie says theres no value out there and gill says we have lots of money to spend it will ammount to no new signings as we are skint

  11. Can we please stay away from Benzema. With all the legal troubles surrounding him, I’d rather not see us take a risk on him. Not to mention we already have a lot of strikers.

    Ozil, on the other hand, I think has just been escalated to a “must buy.” With talk of Hargreaves and Anderson not being included in the squad of 25 we’re light in the center of midfield and especially in need of a creative mid if Anderson isn’t included. Before that news I thought our current squad was good and Ozil would just be a bonus. Now I think Ozil is a necessity.

  12. It’s a bit too dark over here, Yolkie. I am amazed that most United fans seem to ignore Gibson’s talent. But, hey, same happened to Darren Fletcher and look at him now. I seem to recall a United fan putting him ‘on sale’ on Ebay for 10p (sounds like something you would do Yolkie). Oh, how the times have changed.

  13. Not sure Ozil is what the club are after. I don’t doubt his quality but he’s clearly the artist of his teams and, without better understanding his personality, I’d be concerned he might “do a Berbatov”.

    He’s grown-up with his mates in the Germany team, whereas he’d be relying on a group of strangers whom to adjust around him at United. He also laughed at Wayne Rooney’s comment at being bored at the World Cup.

    If we bought Ozil, though, I would see him as a replacement for Berbatov rather than Hargreaves.

    If Danny Welbeck goes out on loan and United did buy Ozil, then I’d be expecting the club to look to sell Berbatov and could only see Benzema as a loan signing, until Danny’s deemed ready the year after. It also wouldn’t surprise me if the Benzema link is now almost a concoction of Fergie to motivate Danny/Kiko/Berbatov.

    Neither of these signings would resolve the problem of midfield, though, as one injury to Darren Fletcher and we’re lacking in aggression and energy. One injury to Paul Scholes and it’s asking much of Michael Carrick to compensate.

    Honda, of Japan, would be a good signing. He can play anywhere across the front-line, on the wing or in attacking midfield, which would mean we could release Berbatov and bring Danny Welbeck into the fold. I’d also be bringing Tom Cleverley into the squad.

    We still another proper central midfielder, though, and the list of these is not that long. Jack Rodwell? Raul Mereiles maybe? Is Steven Defour an adequate tackler to replace Fletcher?

    I’d also try Fabio Da Silva as part of a centre-midfield three.

  14. I don’t know who to belive? Fergie talks nonsense that there’s no value for money? While Gill alwayz insures the supporters that where loaded! Secondly why do United fans & (websites) predict that where after Benzema? Did he go to the WC? after all David Gill did say we watched talent playing at the WC? Not Karim Benzema preparing for a big holiday in prison! So we never know it hopefully might be Luis Saurez! Finally i do hope we sign a class mf, someone like Sniejder, Ozil, Muller or even Swienstieger! Fingerscross!!

  15. Not a massive fan of Benzema but think Ozil would massively improve us. He has that class and touch which our other young midfielders don’t have. Ideally, I would prefer to blood in our younger players but when you compare Ozil to Gibson, there is no comparison. If we want to challenge this season, we need to buy a creative midfielder in the vein of the German.

  16. Hah; yes, it does sound my thing- I have always been in support of Fletcher though to be fair. Good point about Gibson – 5 years ago everyone wrote off Fletch & he became awesome. Every chance Gibbo could do the same

    Interesting point : Fabio too…

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