The London Evening Standard says it is understood the Gunners have sounded out the Spanish giants over a move for the 25-year-old and have indicated they would be prepared to offer £40million.
According to French newspaper L’Equipe, Benzema is the highest paid French sports star, earning 8.5m euros (£7.26m) before tax. That equates to around £140,000 a week and it is believed the Gunners have sought to assure him that there will be no need to take a pay cut to move to London.
The top rate of income tax in Spain currently stands at 52 per cent, meaning Arsenal could offer to match Benzema’s current wage but in reality that would equate to a pay rise given the 50 per cent threshold in the United Kingdom. Arsenal’s current highest earners are believed to be Jack Wilshere and Theo Walcott on around £100,000 a week with Lukas Podolski among a group of players just below that figure.
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