Friday’s transfer rumor roundup: Shaqiri to Arsenal, Benzema a Red for $78 million?

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Oh, silly season. You are most certainly here.

According to Metro, Liverpool is set to offer $78 million to pry Karim Benzema away from Real Madrid. Certainly the Spanish club is loaded with talent, but would they really sell Benzema?

He’s 27, so his value is certainly almost as high as it’s going to get. But Real is looking to become the first repeat UEFA Champions League winner since 1990 (AC Milan), and the UCL prize is the club’s obsession. Sounds fishy to us, though perhaps they feel they can get a younger, un-Cup tied replacement or two in January?

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The media also says Arsenal may just be able to buy Xherdan Shaqiri away from Bayern Munich. The asking price is $28 million, but the site says he could go for as low as $15 million (which seems absolutely bananas).

And the Gunners may have won the battle to sign 16-year-old Polish prospect Krystian Bielik from Legia Warsaw. Metro says $3 million will do the trick, and that the youngster visited the Emirates just this week.

According to The Daily Express, Manchester United’s man if Mats Hummels won’t come over from Borussia Dortmund is 26-year-old Argentine back Nicolas Otamendi of Valencia.

It seems $47 million would be the price for Louis van Gaal’s much-loved AS Roma midfielder Kevin Strootman. The Manchester Evening News says Roma is starting to consider the sale of the superstar.