Karim Benzema puts Premier League on alert as Arsenal and Chelsea hunt new striker

Karim Benzema has put Premier League clubs on alert by indicating that he is open to leaving Al-Ittihad after an underwhelming six months in Saudi Arabia.

The 36-year-old former Real Madrid striker is exploring his options, and Chelsea and Arsenal are both in need of a forward to boost their firepower.

Benzema believes a move to England is a possibility, but whether a deal for the 2022 Ballon d’Or winner is realistic remains to be seen.

He is on a reported £88million-a-year deal in Saudi and his club are said to be reluctant to let him leave this month, either on loan or on a permanent deal.

Benzema, however, has seen Jordan Henderson negotiate a release from his contract with Al-Ettifaq to force a move away from the Middle East.

Benzema still has two years left on his contract, but is not happy with how his time in the Saudi Pro League is going.

Al-Ittihad won the title last season, but have struggled this campaign and are seventh in the table, 25 points behind leaders Al-Hilal.

Karim Benzema could swap Saudi Arabia for the Premier League this month (Getty Images)
Karim Benzema could swap Saudi Arabia for the Premier League this month (Getty Images)

Benzema has scored 15 goals in 24 games since joining Al-Ittihad from Madrid last summer, but has been criticised in the Saudi media for his performances.

Benzema does not fit the profile of player Chelsea have targeted in the transfer market and his wages could prove a stumbling block to any potential deal with the Blues or Arsenal.

Ex-Liverpool striker Roberto Firmino is also said to be pushing for a January move away from Saudi Arabia, having left Anfield to move to Al-Ahli last summer.