With Benzema rumours finally subsiding after both managers, the player and his agent all denied a move was on the cards, the media’s ‘pin the Arsenal shirt on the striker game’ has spread its wings.

Not content with stories about an imminent bid for Edinson Cavani, several publications have us battling Man United for Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who, with a year left on his contract and no desire to renew, has been told he can leave PSG in a cut price deal.

The giant ego Swede has been quoted as saying “Where I go next, it will be a surprise, a very big surprise”, and certainly, despite desperate sports desk journos, it would be a very big surprise if he turned up in North London.

Cards on the table. I LOVE Zlatan. I’ve regretted his turning down Arsenal’s trial for 15 years, and think he would have been an amazing player for the club right from the get go. He’s adapted his game remarkably to the aging process, and is as good as he has ever been, and one of the top five centre-forwards in the world.

He’s a great goalscorer and a scorer of great goals, and his youtube compilations are thing of drool-inducing beauty. And of course,  he’s won the league at all six clubs he’s played for in 12 of the last 14 seasons.

No coincidence there.

The problem is, much of the love is also from an entertainment point of view. A footballer who doesn’t need a surname, who let his biographer make up quotes and write it as a novel because it was ‘a good story’. A player who has incorporated martial arts into his football with amazing effect, becoming the closest thing to Shoalin soccer we’ve seen at the top level. A player who occasionally thumps people on the field, and frequently creatively insults others off it. His dealings with French sports journalists are a thing of beauty.

Despite the sideshow, there is no doubting his talent, even now. But the sideshow will always be there, and for the close-knit dressing room of mutually respectful nice guys at Arsenal, it would be like dropping a chaos bomb into the room. It might galvanise the team, but there is a massive risk of undermining the team spirit that both players and manager have frequently commented on.

There are also much more prosaic reasons why it shouldn’t and probably won’t happen. His wages are stupendous and would dwarf that of Ozil, Sanchez and even Theo’s new deal. His one great weakness is pace, and it’s the one thing we want more of in a player to supplant Giroud.

He’s increasingly become a 9 1/2 forward, dropping deep to create space for or play in others, which just wouldn’t mesh with Ozil and would add to Arsenal’s fabled number 10 congestion.

His withering looks would make Thierry blush.

I absolutely love watching him, but from an Arsenal perspective he just doesn’t fit.

And he’s not all ego:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XYan94S8slU]