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Spanish giants keen on French superstar,19528,11827_3431030,00.html

Barcelona are reported to be keen on taking Lyon's exciting young striker Karim Benzema to Camp Nou.

The French international has attracted interest from a number of Europe's top clubs after grabbing 21 goals in all competitions this season.

Manchester United appeared to be the favourites to capture his signature should he decide to leave Stade Gerland, but Spanish giants Barca have now signalled their interest.

The Catalan club's sporting director Txiki Beguiristain was in Lyon on Tuesday night to run the rule over the striker, and saw him score as the Ligue 1 leaders beat Metz 1-0 in the Coupe de France.

The French side are understandably keen to hang on to their prize asset but could be tempted into a sale should Barca offer around 30million euros (£24million).

Barcelona are keen to rebuild over the summer after a disappointing domestic season in the Primera Division and see Benzema as the ideal replacement for the disgruntled Ronaldinho.

Beguiristain is understood to have already held preliminary discussions with Bernard Lacombe as to the player's availability and is actively seeking a meeting with Lyon's president Jean Michel Aulas in the near future.

Another player who may be discussed should such talks materialise is Hatem Ben Arfa, as Barcelona are also understood to be admirers of the talented playmaker.

- To me this is not bad news. It would indicate that Lyon might be willing to sell and that the contract extension Benzema recently signed might just have been to up the asking price for the promising young striker.

I'm not sure we should enter the fray though if £24million is what his valuation is at. The final price might be around the £30million mark once any potential bidding war is over.

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you gotta be kidding me!!!! :eek:
they have strikers who are young and great...they also have strikers who are old and much strikers do they have???? 5..6???
any number....that is just riciculous....they want more strikers to that....benzema is young but they have eto'o who is relatively young and bojan krkic who is younger than benzema.......hope someone who needs benzema buys him
*hinting at united* :eek:

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Benzema Staying With Lyon


FC Barcelona have no chance of signing Karim Benzema this summer at all and nor do any other team as his personal prime agent has already made it very clear that staying at Olympique Lyon to gain experience is the player's top priority.

The 20-year-old sensational teenage starlet has been targeted by many of Europe's heavyweight clubs and the Blaugrana are the latest to be linked with a move for him after Txiki Begiristain flew to France to watch him play in midweek.

Benzema has not intention of leaving Olympique Lyonnais, however, as he wants to stay with his hometown club to continue learning before considering looking abroad to further his career, accord to his agent Karim Djaziri.

"He is not going to leave Lyon. I know that there are a lot of interested clubs, but he is still young and wants to stay and gain more experience," the player's representative said. "Next season he will continue to play for Lyon and then we shall see. He does not want to leave and that is why we renewed his contact a few weeks ago. There is no buy-out clause included as he does not want to move and Lyon do not want to sell."

After joining Lyon at the age of eight, Benzema worked his way through the club's youth ranks before making his first team debut in 2004 and was originally considered to be a winger. But under Alain Perrin he has excelled in a central role that has taken him over the 20-goal barrier and won him a host of new admirers.
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