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Arsenal Reportedly Targets Real Madrid Duo as Arsene Wenger Proclaims, 'The Transfer Market Starts Now'

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COMMENTARY | Speaking after Arsenal's triumphant 3-0 win against Turkish giant Fenerbahce in the Champions League qualifying stage yesterday, manager Arsene Wenger stated that the team can finally start to make moves in the transfer market.

Wenger said, "Quality wise we do not need, but numbers wise we are short. We lost Arteta and Diaby. We are without three international midfielders. We will try and bring one in but we are working on that. What you have to understand is that there is still a long way to go."

The Frenchman also emphatically stated, "The transfer market really starts now, a lot of activity will happen between now and September 2. We have 12 days. A lot will happen. It starts now."

Qualification into the Champions League group stage will not only give the team an extra $38.9 million to work with, but it will also attract players who wish to compete in the prestigious tournament.

While Wenger chased Liverpool striker Luis Suarez for much of the summer, it now appears that the Arsenal manager is conceding losing out on the Uruguay international. However, highly respected BBC Sport is reporting that the Gunners are looking to sign two Real Madrid superstars -- Karim Benzema and Angel Di Maria.

The report states that Wenger is ready to offer over $62 million for Benzema, who scored the opening goal in Real Madrid's first league game against Real Betis last weekend. Di Maria could be expendable at Madrid because of the expected arrival of winger Gareth Bale. The sale of Di Maria could help ease the financial discomfort of Madrid paying around $140 to bring in Bale from British club Tottenham.

Just two days ago, El Confidencial posted an article with the headline, "Benzema no longer untouchable …" The article went on to state that Real Madrid are becoming frustrated with Benzema's (and fellow teammate and Manchester United target Mesut Ozil) attitude lately, and could be on the lookout for another striker.

While purchasing both Benzema and Di Maria from Real Madrid seems very hard to believe, the duo would be welcomed with open arms at the Emirates. The Gunners are lacking creativity and the two Madrid players definitely possess creativity (as seen here and here). Convincing the players to move from Real Madrid to Arsenal could very well be the toughest part of the deal.

Even if (and I do mean if) Arsenal were to sign both Benzema and Di Maria, its spending shouldn't be done there. The team is in need of defensive players just as much as attacking options. A holding midfielder, and possibly a goalkeeper, should be just as high on Arsenal's wish list as a striker.

Christopher Moore has been following Arsenal Football Club for over 10 years.

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