Is Arsenal the next stop for Cryptic Benzema, drops Real Madrid exit hint

The striker has long been on Arsene Wenger’s wishlist and has suggested he could be moving clubs with a cryptic Instagram message as he departs los Blancos’ pre-season tour early

Next stop, Arsenal? Cryptic Benzema drops Real Madrid exit hint

Karim Benzema appears to have dropped a huge hint that he could be leaving Real Madrid, with the Frenchman pictured aboard a private plane as he left los Blancos‘ pre-season tour.

While the rest of the squad flew to Shanghai for the next stage of their International Champions Cup campaign, where they take on AC Milan, Benzema headed in a direction of his own.

As revealed by Goal in May, Arsenal have long been laying the foundations for an ambitious bid to sign the France international, who played no part in Madrid’s most recent friendly, a 3-0 win over Inter, and has been speaking cryptically about his future.

Using Verlan slang, which inverts syllables in a word, Benzema wrote on his instagram page “#directionturfu”, which, rather than being a typo, translates as ‘Next stop: the future’.

Karim Benzema has been heavily linked with a move to the Premier League for some time now, but could it actually be happening?  Reports today linked Arsenal with a £40.5million bid to seal a deal for the Frenchman and one of the club’s supporters has already purchased a shirt with the player’s name on his back.

He also wrote “let the past remain in the past”, which adds further fuel to the speculation that Benzema is on the verge of calling time on his six-year stay at the Santiago Bernabeu.

New Madrid boss Rafa Benitez has previously insisted the 27-year-old would remain at the club, while his agent said it was “1000 per cent” likely he would line up for the Spanish giants next summer.

But the striker’s latest comments, and Benitez’s plans to use Cristiano Ronaldo or Gareth Bale up front, give fresh hope that Arsenal can pull off an audacious deal, with Wenger known to want a new forward this summer and being in possession of a £200 million warchest.