Real Madrid bid to scupper United's swoop for Lyon striker Benzema
24 June 2009 03:07
Real Madrid are threatening to hijack Manchester United's bid to sign Karim Benzema from Lyon.
The Spanish giants are ready to turn to the France striker after being frustrated in their attempts to sign David Villa from Valencia.
Euro 2008 striker Villa is keen on a move to the Bernabeu, but Valencia say he is no longer available for sale.
Madrid director general Jorge Valdano said: 'We believe in the word of Valencia and we respect their decision - that is why we have changed targets.'
Lyon admit they will struggle to hold on to 21-year-old Benzema after the market became inflated by Madrid's lavish spending.
United boss Sir Alex Ferguson is an admirer, but Madrid president Florentino Perez has already twice met Benzema's agent Karim Djaziri, in Madrid and Geneva, according to Spanish newspaper Marca.
The La Liga giants are hope to do a deal for about £34million and will offer players to go in the other direction after Lyon chairman Jean-Michel Aulas expressed an interest in Madrid's Dutch trio Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, Arjen Robben and Royston Drenthe.