REAL MADRID

Benzema injury setback may force Madrid to sign a striker

El dedo de Benzema obliga al Madrid a fichar un nueve

REUTERS

Solari called upon Real Madrid Castilla striker Cristo last night in Seville after the French forward was forced to leave the pitch with a fracture in his little finger.

Real Madrid have few excuses left to avoid making a move in the current transfer window for a striker after last night's setback at the Benito Villamarin as forward Karim Benzema suffered a broken finger that will see him ruled out for anything up to three weeks. With Mariano still not fully match fit, coach Solari was forced to call upon 21-year-old Castilla player Cristo González.

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Real Madrid have yet to issue a full medical report giving detail to the extent of the Benzema fracture. If surgery is required, the French striker will miss at least the next two competitive games. Last season, a similar injury saw Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic miss two games but was able to participate in the final of the Copa del Rey wearing a finger protector. Club medics were unable to relocate the broken bone at the break with Solari later admitting that, "Karim had to be changed as he was in a great deal of pain", later joking that fortunately for Madrid "Benzema's hands are his feet".

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With Gareth Bale injured again and Asensio still some way from full fitness, Madrid may be compelled to make a move in the January transfer window, as they did in 2011 when Emmanuel Adebayor was drafted in on loan to replace Gonzalo Higuaín,who was then recovering from a hernia operation.

Santiago Solari of Real Madrid CF reacts during the La Liga match between Real Betis Balompie and Real Madrid CF at Estadio Benito Villamarin

Three names have been strongly linked to a move to the Santiago Bernabéu with that of Mauro Icardi being the fans favourite with the Argentine and current club Inter stalling over a contract renewal. Santos' Rodrygo has already been signed by the Spanish club and it may decided to bring forward his incorporation with the player celebrating his 18th birthday last week. In recent weeks, Genoa's Polish striker Krzysztof Piatek has been also strongly linked with a move to the Spanish capital. 

The winter transfer window closes on January 31st.