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Pep Guardiola heaps praise on Karim Benzema: “He’s a fantastic all-round player”

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Photo by JAVIER SORIANO/AFP via Getty Images

The semifinals of the UEFA Champions League could not boast of a more exciting set of teams. In Machester City, Real Madrid and Liverpool, there are three genuine European giants in the running. The addition of Villarreal as the dark horse spices things up perfectly.

Los Blancos are set to go up against Manchester City for a place in the finals over two legs. The games are scheduled for the last week of April and the first week of May respectively.

Pep Guardiola, manager of the Premier League side, spoke about Karim Benzema earlier this week and did not hold back his admiration for the French striker.

“Benzema is exceptional, not only because of what he is doing now, but for what he has been doing for 10+ years at Real Madrid. He is not only a scorer, but is a fantastic all-round player. His career is phenomenal,” he said (h/t The Madrid Zone).

The comment becomes more relevant with the two teams set to face each other. City have only conceded 20 goals in 31 league games this season, boasting of one of Europe’s best defences.

Needless to say, it will take something special from Benzema to take Real Madrid through to the next round.

The French striker has been in unbelievable touch in recent weeks, more so in the Champions League. Benzema scored back-to-back hat-tricks against Paris Saint Germain and Chelsea before scoring the winning goal in the second leg against the latter.

In La Liga, he has scored 24 goals and provided 11 assists in just 27 starts.

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid forward set for talks with Arsenal this week – report

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Photo by JAVIER SORIANO/AFP via Getty Images

With less than six months left on his contract, Marco Asensio looks to be on his way out of Real Madrid very soon. The Spaniard has not yet started talks to extend his contract with the Spanish giants, which has garnered the eyes from several top clubs across Europe.

One of the clubs interested in his signature happens to be Premier League leaders Arsenal. Mikel Arteta is said to be a fan of the player, and will try to be bring him to North London on a free transfer this summer.

According to Mirror, Asensio’s agents will fly to London this week to get an a better understanding Arsenal’s interest in the player. Talks are scheduled with Arsenal, among possibly other clubs.

Asensio’s priority remains to extend with Arsenal, but not at ‘any cost’. The winger is looking for raise with his new contract to go along with a four-year deal. The report states that he currently earns around €130,000 per week at Madrid.

The 27-year-old has been waiting for an official offer from Los Blancos for a while, but the club will wait for March or April before taking a decision on his extension.

Asensio took a while to grow important for Carlo Ancelotti this season, but has been featuring regularly on the right-wing lately. He even scored in 2-0 win against Valencia in midweek, taking his tally to two for the season, excluding three assists as well.

Arsenal are definitely looking to add more firepower to their squad for next season, having already brought in Leandro Trossard in the winter. Asensio could serve as the perfect backup to Bukayo Saka, who has been in incredible form all season.

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