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Benzema, Benzema and more Benzema. But it’s only talk.

This will be a short one, and I can’t help but point out the overwhelming twisting of quotes to fit headlines.

First of all there is a quote from Bernard Lacombe, the advisor to Lyon’s president, who talked about clubs being flush with cash. And that it would be difficult to resist a big bid if it came: “If United want to buy Karim then what can you do?”

Which is a question. It’s an indication that Lyon may be willing to sell. But at what price? £25million? Really?

I wouldn’t bet on it.

Ferguson has been a big fan of Karim Benzema, which is well documented. But he’s also fully aware of who he’s dealing with, when it comes to talking business. He made an observation way back in early 2008 — before our Champions’ League fixture against Lyon — about Jean Michael Aulas, which is very valid to date:

“The president is a very clever man. He’s so clever he can sell midfield players for £20m. That’s amazing,” Ferguson said, referring to the hard bargain Aulas drove when Real Madrid bought Mahamadou Diarra in 2006. “That [Jeremy] Toulalan he bought from Nantes just sits and does the same job Diarra did. When they sold Michael Essien [to Chelsea, for £24.4m], they took Tiago then sold Tiago to Juventus for £6m. Eric Abidal, £10m for a left back [when he moved to Barcelona]. They’re a well-run club.

Well run club indeed. We are really talking a French Daniel Levy here, who knows how to get the deal he wants. So I remain sceptical about a deal being done quickly on the Frenchman. I hope I’m wrong, but when he can sell the likes of Essien and Diarra for about £24m, I don’t think we’ll get this lad for the quoted £25m.

Of course, the actual gist of Lacombe’s statement wouldn’t deter papers from splashing stuff like “United close in on Benzema” (Manchester Evening News) and the extremely enticing, ‘authentic’ looking “Benzema heading to United — report” (Setanta Sports); actual juice in that article is really the first line that says he’s at the top of United’s list, attributed to the dreaded “unnamed source” — by that logic all clubs should just create a list of coveted players, throw in some magic beans, and the players would appear out of nowhere.

If you’re still interested in his quoted market value, The Daily Mail reckons £35m, the Mirror £30m while some others say £25m. Take your pick. Although if you were to go by Sky Sports — rather, his agent — he’s going nowhere, and intends to stay put. But then, that’s boring to hear, no?

Well, that’s all I have to say on this. Will be back tomorrow for more. Unless this mysterious Sheik-over (excuse the pun; couldn’t resist it.) involves our club.



  1. Craig Mc

    23 June 2009 at 10:16

    @Beachryan: Beachy, Everton have sworn, that after Rooney, they will never sell again any of their best and most talented young players. They don’t have to sell, because they are pretty solvent.

  2. donibrasco

    23 June 2009 at 10:47

    @Craig Mc: The Ole Gunnar situation was different and he also admitted he did not like it,plus he is one of a kind.Today’s footballer and not just Tevez will not sit on the bench for the love of the team,and i swear if Solskjear came from a big footballing nation,he would not have stayed content with his bit part role.Next year is a world cup year where the coach cant select players on reputation,atleast Argentina is not England.
    For someone to tell me to trot off and support city is missing the point.Messi is a great player,does that mean whoever believes that should trot off and support Barca?@Red Ranter: I do not dislike Rooney,i actually like him alot but for someone who has had alot of potential for all this time,i do not see his improvement,i actially think he was better in his first two seasons and the manager is not to blame.To say they should play him in his role behind the strikers is mis understanding the game of football al together.If you ask any coach,he will tell you any footballers favorite position is in the hole,so it is not a reserve for Rooney as so many fans would want to believe.
    I say he is a striker and should be judjed on goals scored like any other striker or else he is our Dirk Kuyt that provides energy to the team,and occasionally scores which i do not like since we already have the best defence,a tidy midfield,and we do not need a defensive striker.
    Throught the whole drame,i hear fans talking about a striker to play alonside Rooney.Tevez,Saha,Berba,have all not lived up according to some fans,but do you realise there is one constant?

  3. Stephen

    23 June 2009 at 10:54

    @donibrasco: Rooney scored 20 goals last season and was restricited to playing left side more often than not, also selecting players on reputation why do Argentina still select Veron, Zanetti and Heinze? Also I would rather Capello in charge than that drug taking lunatic Maradona, who was selected WHAT for his management record?? Or his playing reputation??
    I agree with Tevez he is not a player who is going to sit on the bench, but he did get game time, and who sayes he will play more by moving?, who knows.

  4. Beachryan

    23 June 2009 at 10:58

    @ Craig – Yeah I figure Everton will try and hold onto him, but if we made a big money move now, with it being such a risk, would be interesting to see what they’d do. They need a world class striker, and £15m would really help them complete their current team. In a way it’s unfortunate that it’s Everton, as I quite like them for being such a well run outfit. I guess we can bide our time and wait for Moyes to bring him in 3 years time when he takes over from Fergie… 😎

    Oh and Foster has signed a big bumper contract. Clearly he’s viewed as our number 1 for the future, so put away your Adler/Neuer etc wishes for the forseeable while.

  5. donibrasco

    23 June 2009 at 11:02

    @Stephen: My point is you play where the manager wants you.Carlos probably thought about playing time before he ditched Us.
    Isnt Maradona performing?I respect capello,but that is only Andorra,Borat,and those others.Lets wait for the big one next year

  6. Stephen

    23 June 2009 at 11:14

    @donibrasco: Well they lost 6-1 to Bolivia but has only been in charge for as short time in in that, he beat Scotland 1-0, beat Columbia 1-0 and they were poor, and lost 2-0 to Ecuador are they World Cup winning sides???, I think Capello’s record speaks for itself mate, played 15 won 12 drew 1 and lost 2.
    It is up to the player if Carlos wants to move the decision is his, maybe being a big fish in a small pond is more his style, we got good value out of him, his efforts for the past two years are worth the £9m, but his recent winging to the press has left a sour taste in a lot of fans mouths.

  7. Beachryan

    23 June 2009 at 11:53

    If Tevez goes to City he’s never going to get a game…imo.

    Santa Cruz is a big frontman, who can lead the line. City seem to favour a 5 man midfield, with Ireland, Robinho and Wright-Philips spread behind the striker and Kompany/Elano/De Jong behind them. Unless Tevez will be a support striker, I just don’t get it.

    And that’s ignoring Bellamy/Cacaido/Sturridge/etc…

    Whereas at United he would have been one of 3.


  8. Stephen

    23 June 2009 at 12:20

    @Beachryan: I brought that up in an earlier post mate, the concerns for Tevez is that I hope he is moving for the right reasons, one being that it is his decision.
    If Joorachian is telling him to move to help line his own pockets and not for the bennefit of the player then it is the wrong move. I simply don’t buy the “he has been treated disgracefully” act, for me he was given ample game time and what doe he expect, the play week in week out, it simply doesn’t happen at our club, unless your name was Ronaldo.
    If he is moving soley for fiancial reasons again that is wrong, but we should all know that, I hope he has not been manipualted by others parties to leave the club, as it could well be career suicide.

  9. Traverse

    23 June 2009 at 12:27

    @ebrahim: huh?

  10. Craig Mc

    23 June 2009 at 12:35

    @donibrasco: If your a Man United fan, I’m a fucking dutchman, and that is saying something! Anyone who thinks that Tevez is better than Rooney, well enough said. If it had have been Rooney that SAF wasn’t re-signing, there would have been mayhem down at OT, and the fans would have tore the place apart. Nobody has batted an eyelid since Tevez went, in spite of all the rent a mob fans, who were making a fuss over what – A United great – Tevez, was he fuck. He gave plenty of endeavour, but his game was lacking in so many departments. Plus why should he play every game, he was part of a squad. I feel sorry for Man Pity, or anybody who gets Tevez, because the 1st time they leave him on the bench, he will be going crying to the press every few minutes. Listen mate, Tevez is a mercenary, like most of the latin players, MONEY IS THEIR GOD. Rooney is miles better than Tevez, and has scored more goals, and that with the many times out injured too. Also more assists from Rooney, so no idea why you would think Tevez is better than Rooney. I notice you don’t come onto this blog very often, but when you do, its to tell us how badly we have treated poor little mite Tevez. Like I said, City is just across town mate. Also comparing Messi to Tevez is like comparing a rolls royce to a minicar. 🙄 . By the way, I am not even a Rooney lover, but I know he is miles better than Tevez.

  11. Craig Mc

    23 June 2009 at 12:40

    @Stephen: Tevez has been a manipulated slave since he became involved with MSI and Joorabchian. He is not allowed a mind of his own, no matter what Joorabchian says. But hey, he’s gone, and why should we give him another thought.

  12. Onkar

    23 June 2009 at 12:58

    @Craig Mc: Well said buddy… Lots of cheers… After all there is only one player on this earth who is better than Rooney and that’s Rooney himself…

  13. Onkar

    23 June 2009 at 13:02

    @Craig Mc: Absolutely agreed.. I mean common you all Tevez as well as Ronaldo story is over. They are no longer a part of this great football club… So please stop wasting yours and readers energy as well as space on the blog by keep on writing about them. i mean we have around GBP 100 million think about that and not about those who have already decided there way… July is coming… Its gonna be exciting with lot of money…. I hope.. :mrgreen:

  14. tevez

    23 June 2009 at 13:15

    @donibrasco: Every player wants to play behind the strikers??? That’s completely untrue.
    I agree that as a striker it is important that rooney scores goals and all strikers should chip in with their fair share, but rooney scores an acceptable amount of goals every year so i don’t see your point here. Not every striker has to score 30+ goals a season to be a good one.
    Berbatov has been disappointing so far, but saha frustrated because of his injury problems, not his footballing ability, and people complain about tevez because other strikers would be more complimentary to rooney’s abilities. Fans want to see rooney play in the position tevez occupied for us. As much as i like and rate tevez, and i’d imagine i rate him considerably higher than most, he just isn’t wayne rooney.

  15. donibrasco

    23 June 2009 at 14:49

    @Craig Mc: Am not saying he is better,just that he is not as bad as most fans make him.@Stephen: Being a United fan,i dont go much into inrenationals otherwise Luis Fabiano would be the best striker now.@tevez: Tevez isnt Rooney,but when was the last time you left the house saying Rooney will win this game for us?

  16. Stephen

    23 June 2009 at 14:52

    @donibrasco: Fabiano has the same amount of goals in the Confederations Cup as David Villa, Kaka, Rossi and Torres mate.

  17. Karl

    23 June 2009 at 15:02

    @Craig Mc: I really don’t get your hate towards Tevez?
    You need to compare a confident Rooney with a confident Tevez to get a true estimation of what he is capable of. As I mentioned before, I don’t like getting into the who’s better, but we have to agree, most United fans are pretty biased towards Rooney.
    Tevez is really not as bad as what most people make him out to be. His performances before he came to England was equal to, if not better than that of Rooney. He has had to adapt to a new league, 2 new clubs, and as he was about to find his feet at the club, his confidence was shot down. How can you logically compare him to a settled Rooney to whom lots of confidence is shown, whether he performs or not. I have seen quite a few games of Rooney this season where he simply has not performed. Yet, people forget that in their assessment.
    Tevez on the other hand, has also (contrary to your belief), NEVER really played in ‘his’ position. Always ‘out of position’. The only times he played in ‘the hole’ was when he played in the Carling Cup (and see what happened). I agree that Rooney is a bit of a dissapointment in that he has never reached the potential that we all expected of him.
    I honestly think that Tevez is as good, if not perhaps better than Rooney. Also, why the hate toward Maradonna? One other thing of note about Rooney playing for England. We need to consider, not only is England playing weak opposition, but Rooney is also a case of ‘big fish in a little pond’ with England. He stands out because there is not that many creative, flair players in the England team.

    The fact that Tevez turned down an offer of being one of the highest paid players in the PL, should also indicate that this ‘mercenary’ idea is totally idiotic. Whatever his reasons, I seriously doubt it was due to money on his part. Also worth noting, if he signs for City, he does so knowing full well that he has to fight for a place. Why would he want to do that if he want to be guaranteed a starting slot and not ‘take one for the team’?

    I think at the end of the day, he felt he was not wanted enough and he is now moving on. We really can’t blame him for that.

  18. Stephen

    23 June 2009 at 15:18

    @Karl: Sorry to butt in mate and forgive me but Rooney a big fish in a small pond for England, playing with players without creative and flair, Gerrard, Walcott, Joe Cole, Lampard, SWP, Young and Agbonlahor and even Defoe are hardly small un creative, unflair like players mate, bring in big names like Terry, Ashley Cole, Rio and Carrick to the mix, that is simply incorrect.

  19. Karl

    23 June 2009 at 15:48

    @Stephen: Sorry Stephen. They are not as creative as what they are famous.

  20. Stephen

    23 June 2009 at 15:57

    @Karl: 😆 😆 😆 😆

  21. Anthony Los

    23 June 2009 at 16:31

    Look guys we really need to be concerned about this whole benzema situation. Is he gonna sign or not, we dont know but im sure as hell, if we try to get him, lyon are greedy bastards and they will try and milk every penny from us as possible. I dont think valencia will be a sufficient signing because we have players like him, we dont need another park/nani we need a player with a hell of a lot of flair and pace, we need to do all we can to get benzema, screw ribery who in gods name wld pay 60-80 mil for him. We also need to get douglas because we paid 12.75 mil for a player who turned into the best in the world, why not pay 16-18 mil for a player who promises a lot of talent and so what if he turns out to be a flop, its not the end of the world it shit happens. Lets also get aguero even if it costs us a good 40 mil cause he is quality and will fill the void for tevez’ argentinian pace and determination!

  22. Anthony Los

    23 June 2009 at 16:32

    sorry “shit happens” not “it shit happens”

  23. Craig Mc

    23 June 2009 at 16:41

    @Karl: If you can find anywhere, that I ever mentioned the name Maradona, then please show me 🙄 . Yet I will say this Karl – you ask an Englishman why hate Maradona? Try the deliberate ‘so called handball of God’ against England in the World cup. He is a cheating bastard, who admits he always cheated, and would cheat again in the big games. He is a drug addict, who ran with the MAFIA in Naples, and admitted so himself. He started the whole Tevez debacle at OT, by telling Tevez that he had to cause a fuss about nt being in the big games at OT, or he couldn’t play for Argentina in big games. He told him to be selfish and keep the balls, and not pass it to players in better positions, so that he got the glory. This Tevez himself admitted in Argentina media interviews. I will NEVER agree that Tevez is a better player than Rooney, because I really don’t believe he is Karl. I am NOT upset that he has left OT, because his attitude is pathetic. What you think oyher players at OT don’t have legitmate grievances about being left out of the team. He went to City because of the money – end of. He could have got CL football with Chelski or Looserpoo, but Joorabchian follows the fistfuls of money. On top of all that, he fucking lied to the media, and the club, saying he needed more time to decide, when City have made it known that he tied up a deal with them 2-3 weeks ago. So I couldn’t give a monkeys about Tevez mate, and neither can most of the OT faithful I suspect. But hey, you can keep playing nicely with Donibrasco on the Tevez love bandwagon. Sorry Karl, but I will never be on that bandwagon Bro. We all have different players we are for and against, that fandom mate 😀 .

  24. Craig Mc

    23 June 2009 at 16:47

    @donibrasco: Its all a matter of opinion though mate, and Tevez played a lot of football for us, in spite of all his protests, and apart from last couple of games, he wasn’t all that in my opinion!

  25. Craig Mc

    23 June 2009 at 16:53

    Donibrasco, I don’t know whether you are English or not mate, but all fans in England have a thing about whether a player is DEVOTED to a club or night. In light of this, we LOCALS of Manchester particularly see Rooney as a TRUE RED. He understands the history, and the ‘ins and outs’ of the fans minds in England, and is mindful of it. The foreigners don’t have that same love and emotional attachment to a club mate, although they may to those clubs in their own Country of origon. The Roon’s, Rio’s, Red Nevs, Giggsy’s, Ole’s and Scholesy’s will always be more in our hearts than those who don’t have that passion. Cantona was a foreigner who had that connection with club and fans, but there are not many of them!

  26. Stephen

    23 June 2009 at 16:54

    @Craig Mc: Also mate the players you have stated have put the club first not themselves, which is why they are legends.

  27. Craig Mc

    23 June 2009 at 16:55

    @tevez: Aaaaah never a truer word spoken! 🙂 .

  28. Craig Mc

    23 June 2009 at 16:57

    @Onkar: Go Onkar, you tell ’em mate 😆 😆 .

  29. Craig Mc

    23 June 2009 at 16:58

    @Onkar: 😆 😆 😆 😆 .

  30. johnsom33

    23 June 2009 at 17:40

    @Karl: Thank you thank you thank you, I agree with 99.9% wuth everything you said. the only thing I disagree about is that Rooney is the better player… when he is on form. I do agree that Rooney has been a relative disapointment to this point, and any non-english fan can see it. Where he was at 16 and where he is at now is frustrating. No doubt he has improved,but when you compare the developmental arch with say Ronaldo, you wonder how he managed to get left in Ronaldo’s dust.

    It has been suggested that Ronaldo was in fact stunting Rooneys growth as a footballer, I hope now that he is gone fergie will be able to devote more time to rooney and build the team around him, so we can see him reach his peak.

  31. Craig Mc

    23 June 2009 at 17:54

    @johnsom33: 🙄 🙄 🙄 .

  32. NicoQB

    23 June 2009 at 19:59

    @johnsom33: I am not English and I think that Rooney is miles ahead of Tevez.

    One thing both Karl and you are never addressing is Tevez inability to pass the ball, Rooney always averages 10+ assists per season, on top of his 18+ goals.

    Just for that fact, Rooney is much better than Tevez. Now Tevez, who contrary to popluar belief had plenty of minutes this past season, had just a handful of goals and assists to show for – there is no way that he’s better than Rooney.

    As for the argument that Tevez’s real worth was that which he showed back in South America, well there’s plenty of players who were supposedly world-class back in Brasil or Argentin, but couldn’t cut the mustard in europe.

    We have to look at who’s the better player in Europe and most people would agree that it is Rooney.

  33. Grognard

    23 June 2009 at 21:26

    @donibrasco: Any blame for lack of improvement from Rooney should land at the feet of none other than Fergie. His constant neglect of the player by playing him out of position, asking him to do too much and not resting him often enough is the root cause of your concern. From where I’m sitting, it appear Mr. Capello seems to get a lot more out of him than Fergie. Jee, I wonder why?

  34. Grognard

    23 June 2009 at 21:28

    @Karl: Why the hate for Maradona? You would dare and ask an Englishman why he hates Maradona? Mate, go back and study your World Cup history. Also, besides that, Maradona is a punk and a criminal. Nuff said! 🙄

  35. Stephen

    23 June 2009 at 21:35

    @Grognard: Thank you, couldn’t have put it better myself.

  36. johnsom33

    23 June 2009 at 23:16

    @NicoQB: re-read my message. I never said Tevez was better than Rooney, that was the part I disagreed with Karl on. My non-english fan claim, was just me saying that the english are in denial over Rooney development. He is a world class player no doubt, but he should be challenging Ronaldo, Kaka and Messi for WPOTY.

  37. Stephen

    24 June 2009 at 11:09

    @johnsom33: Mate I am not getting in your face but are you saying English football fans are blinded in their views about a player simply because of our and their Nationality?
    We all can see football and am bot blinded by a blinkered view on a player simply because of where we are from, also I would not discriminate a player simply of where he is from, I am a United fan first and foremost and think what is best for the team regardless of where the player is from.

  38. jos

    24 June 2009 at 11:59

    @Stephen: I think we all are also united fans over here. But it doesnt mean we cant have differences of opinion.
    Most fans would say rooney is better but the biggest crib is he is nowhere near good enf as his potential entails him to be. Forget Tevez, Rooney cud be better than Ronaldo but sadly he is not. And lets stop blaming Fergie for that. Somehow he has not grown as he shud have (given that him and Ronaldo were more or less at around same level in ’04) Fergie wud have built his team around Rooney if he was good enf! he built the team around Ronaldo (even sacrificed RVN for that) coz he was that good and the guy delivered as well (3 PLs, 1 CL to name a few).
    Now is a very important time for Rooney’s career. If he can show to the gaffer he is really good (in top 4-5 players in the world) then the team would be built around him otherwise it will not! Rooney currently is not in that bracket (players like Ronaldo, Xavi, Iniesta, Messi, Vidic, etc) Theres no point in being better than Tevez (honestly speaking I dont think there is much difference between the two – rooney has more talent but tevez is more dogged; rooney gets frustrated very easily and then his game suffers but its not the case with tevez who fights till last second of the game; both are brilliant at times and suck at others; both are confidence players; unfortunately rooney cant have an injury free season but tevez is super fit all the time! etc etc. But as I said none of them is among top 5 in the world! Whats the point in saying rooney is better than Park? i dream of the the day when we wud be able to say Rooney is better than Messi!!!

  39. Stephen

    24 June 2009 at 12:14

    @jos: You cannot judge Rooney on Ronaldo progression, a winger scoring 91 goals in 3 season is simply phenomenal, as he could well be described as one of the best footballer who ever lived.
    Rooney’s downside is that he is too honest, he chases everything like a puppy chasing a bag in the wind, if he were more selfish like Ronaldo in his play the he could in my view be a better player.
    Rooney is not the same player a Messi, Ronaldo he is not a dribbler, he is more a force of nature a talisman more of the Roy Keane type, chase everything not giving anything up for the team, which you have to admire. Rooney is our heartbeat, I would love him to be more of the match winner like last season away at Citeh, he could well be the scorer of important goals for us, like Carlos and Ronaldo, and King Eric.
    He needs to grow up, cut out the petulance which has blighted his devlopment for me, he is far too immature. Maybe having a child will make him grow up, like Paul Ince ad also playing through the middle with a settled strke partner will also help, yes he hasn’t become the best player in the World, but he is United through and through and cares soley for the club unlike Tevez and Ronaldo and that means a lot to the fans.

  40. jos

    24 June 2009 at 13:20

    @Stephen: believe me i ma a huge Rooney fan but its frustrating to see he is not in the same club as ronaldo, messi etc knowing that he can be there! my only point was tevez shouldnt be the parameter for rooney! it shud be the likes of kaka, ronaldo, messi! Thats where he shud be and thats where he belongs.
    otherwise we might just satisfy ourselves with rooney is better than park!!!

  41. Stephen

    24 June 2009 at 13:52

    @jos: In fairness he is still only 23, next season will be a massive one for him hopefully he will get a run through the middle where he belongs mate.

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