Tottenham made an attempt to land Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema this month.

In a sure sign of Spurs' ambition, the Guardian says Tottenham asked Real Madrid last month if they could take Benzema on loan until the end of the season, with an option to buy the Frenchman in the summer.

Real, though, have lost the Argentinian Gonzalo Higuaín to a long-term back problem which has necessitated surgery - and their manager, José Mourinho, is more likely to buy a striker than sell one.

Aston Villa also have been linked with Benzema in recent days.

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