Karim Benzema France
Karim Benzema is a summer target for English Premier League clubsReuters

Manchester United are reportedly keeping a close eye on Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema as manager Louis van Gaal looks to strengthen his frontline ahead of the new season.

With flop striker Radamel Falcao, who was at Old Trafford on a season-long loan this season, already sent back to AS Monaco and Robin van Persie also expected to leave Old Trafford this summer, the Red Devils are keen on signing at least one top-class striker ahead of the new 2015/16 campaign.

United are being linked to a number of strikers, including Tottenham Hotspur's Harry Kane and Aston Villa's Christian Benteke, but the Guardian claim that the Red Devils are considering a serious move for Real Madrid's Benzema.

Although the 27-year-old signed a new five-year deal at the Bernabeu only last summer, it is believed that he is looking to leave Real Madrid now that Carlo Ancelotti has been sacked as manager.

Despite many clubs being interested in landing the France striker, Manchester United have a slight advantage in the race for his signature due to Real Madrid being interested in goalkeeper David De Gea.

Since the Spain goalkeeper has not signed a new contract at Old Trafford, despite the club offering him a mammoth deal believed to be worth around £200,000-a-week, United may be willing to use him as part of a deal that could bring Benzema.

Benzema is understood to be valued at £40 million by Real Madrid, while United are reportedly looking for a transfer fee of around £30 million for De Gea, even if the goalkeeper has only one year remaining on his current contract.

Manchester United might be able to land Benzema this summer if they offer De Gea plus £10 million in cash.

Benzema's addition to the United squad would certainly prove to be very beneficial, as the striker has been in good form this season, scoring 22 goals in 46 appearances in all competitions.

Meanwhile, Mexican striker Javier Hernandez will be returning to Manchester United very soon, after Real Madrid did not exercise the option to sign him permanently, following his loan spell at the Bernabeu.

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