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Fergie drops Benzema hint
18 Feb 2008 - 12:08:18
Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has hinted that he is interested in signing highly-rated Lyon forward Karim Benzema.
Benzema, 20, will face the Red Devils in the Champions League on Tuesday night, but the youngster is someone who has already registered on Ferguson's radar.
The Old Trafford club have been linked with a £20million move for the France international starlet.
"It is an area we tried to strengthen last summer and I don't think that's left us," Ferguson told the Manchester Evening News.
"I have big hopes for Danny Welbeck and he's progressing well but he's young. And we have Fraizer Campbell coming back who has done well at Hull, but he's young as well.
"Benzema is only 20 and Ben Arfa is also 20. Lyons produce young players and Benzema is a local boy, which I'm sure gives them pride."
However, the veteran Scot is aware that any move for Benzema would come at a hefty price as Lyon have a tradition of securing the best deals for their players.
Chelsea paid £24million to sign Michael Essien from the French club in 2005, while Lyon also raised £20million with the sale of Mahamadou Diarra to Real Madrid 12 months later.
"The president is a very clever man," conceded Ferguson. "He's so clever he can sell midfield players for £20m. That's amazing.
"When they sold Michael Essien, they took Tiago then sold Tiago to Juventus for £6million.
"Eric Abidal, £10million for a left back (to Barcelona). They're a well-run club."