London: Real Madrid will use Karim Benzema as bait to get Wayne Rooney, as the Spanish club was preparing a 50 million pounds deal to bag the Manchester United striker.
Rooney has reportedly told bosses at Old Trafford that he wants to leave the club as soon as possible after a massive fall-out with manager Sir Alex Ferguson. He also said that he will not sign a new contract and would prefer them to let him leave when the transfer window reopens in January.
Real boss Jose Mourinho is desperate to get Rooney and knows United chief Alex Ferguson is a fan of French striker Benzema.
Mourinho will include the 22-year-old as part of a cash-plus-player swoop, The Sun reports.
Madrid managing director Jorge Valdano confirmed: "Our problem is who to get rid of if Wayne Rooney comes here. We have a brilliant strikeforce in Ronaldo and Higuain and now we have added Ozil and Di Maria to complement them."
When Madrid signed Benzema last year, Ferguson said that he was interested in the player but felt the 25 million pounds price tag was inflated.
Real president Florentino Perez is a confirmed admirer of Rooney, who turns 25 on Sunday.
A source said: "Signing Wayne has become an obsession for Florentino."