Karim Benzema has been a transfer favourite for plenty of reds and certainly has attracted attention from Sir Alex Ferguson over the years. Despite claims that he wanted to stay in France for one more year to remain settled ahead of the World Cup, it was starting to look like Ferguson might finally get his man.

My hesitance for us to sign Benzema arose from his clear favouring of Real Madrid, although with all the cash available from Cristiano Ronaldo’s sale, as well as the departure of Carlos Tevez, I was prepared to come around to the idea. Whilst not usually fond of the big name signings, as they have ‘flop’ written all over them, this summer, more than ever, it feels like we really need to bring a big name in. Benzema seemed to tick all the boxes.

Regardless, it was announced last night that Real Madrid had agreed a deal for our target, and after learning Benzema was “perfectly happy” to come to Old Trafford, I’m sat wondering why he isn’t doing.

Spanish-based journalist Graham Hunter, who broke the Benzema to Real Madrid story on Sky Sports News, has claimed that United had been in talks with the player but weren’t prepared to stump up the cash to meet the Spaniards’ offer.

“My understanding is that Real Madrid have offered £6million more than Manchester United were willing to pay for Benzema and they will be suffering because there is no doubt that in the last 48 hours they have been negotiating not only with Lyon but with the player, and the player was perfectly happy to go to Old Trafford.”

Whilst usually I would be pleased we hadn’t got involved in a transfer war with Real Madrid I’m left distinctly disappointed. We just smashed the world record transfer fee with Ronaldo so surely this summer more than ever we should be spending big?

I suppose there’s always the thought that had we matched their extra £6m, Real would have upped it £10m, and it would have continued until we were left to pay a ridiculously overinflated transfer fee, or would have lost out anyway.

So, with Ribery also crossed out, whose name can we obsessively scan for in the rags now?