Bernabéu Bites, 10.06.2013: Renew the Striker Signing Speculation!

Karim Benzema ponders a missed scoring opportunity in Saturday's thrilling 3-2 win at Levante. - Manuel Queimadelos Alonso

In the most persistent storyline of the season so far, Benzema's future strike partner (or his own transfer away from the club) is being talked about in the papers.

It has taken a five-match goal drought from Karim Benzema for reports of a striker search to resurface. The Guardian claims that Sergio Agüero is the club's top target for a January signing. According to this, Real Madrid made an inquiry into signing the Argentine in the summer transfer window but were told he would not be sold. Apparently Real Madrid also looked into signing Neymar and Falcao, rendering Gareth Bale the most expensive fourth choice imaginable.

If you go by what The Daily Mirror has to say, Real Madrid is looking to offload the French striker, with Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal being the interested parties on alert. ₤17-million is reportedly the amount that Madrid is looking to recoup from the 25-million Lyon signing. If I even allow myself to venture into the mystical fairytale land that The Daily Mirror operates in, ₤ 17-million seems too low for someone of Benz's profile, regardless of how much he has or hasn't misfired the past few years.

Real Madrid's last-minute, heart-attack-inducing win at Levante last night will provide the team a much needed shot in the arm, according to ESPN's Real Madrid correspondent, Nicholas Rigg. Call it blind optimism or a hunch or whatever you want to call it, but I think he may be right. The impending international break will provide a brief getaway from all that's happened with the season up until this point. Capping this early part of the season in the resilient, emotional fashion they did at Valencia could be the turnaround the squad needs. Maybe.

Real Madrid doesn't play another match until October 19th when Isco's former club, Málaga, come to the Bernabéu. Players leaving on international duty include: Casillas, Arbeloa, Ramos, Isco, Benzema, Varane, Di María, Khedira, Ronaldo, Coentrão, Pepe and Marcelo. The remaining players will continue training on Tuesday.

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