Pjanic: Benzema Old Trafford-bound

Lyon forward Miralem Pjanic says team-mate Karim Benzema is close to sealing a £38million move to Manchester United.

The 21-year-old, who has netted 43 goals in 112 league outings for the Stade Gerland outfit, has long been linked with a string of European football's big hitters, including United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester City, Barcelona and Real Madrid. Their hopes of bagging the French international - who has featured 24 times for his country, scoring six times - during this close-season appeared slim, after the the player's agent, Karim Djaziri, revealed the youngster would - in all likelihood - only be moving on in 12 months time following the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

However, club president Jean-Michel Aulas recently admitted Lyon may be forced to sell their prize asset sooner than expected, should they receive an offer that is too good to turn down. And with the Premier League champions having already recruited Wigan Athletic winger Antonio Valencia to replace Real Madrid-bound Cristiano Ronaldo, manager Sir Alex Ferguson is now believed to be eyeing up Benzema as the man to fill the departing Carlos Tevez's boots. "Benzema is nearly gone to Old Trafford," Pjanic told Bosnian website Sportsport. "The English club are willing to pay €45million [£38million] for him and it is just a question of the day when he will move to England. "He does not have anything against going to Manchester. Our side will be reinforced by Lisandro Lopez, the Argentine forward from Porto." NEWS: Lyon braced for Benzema exit NEWS: Aulas: Benzema may be sold this summer NEWS: Benzema set for switch next year UNITED FANS! Check FourFourTwo.com’s ever-expanding interviews archive for more stuff to read: Web Exclusives Wayne Rooney, Peter Schmeichel, Carlos Tevez Q&A Wayne Rooney, Cristiano Ronaldo, Ruud Van Nistlerooy One on One David Beckham, George Best Ask A Silly Question Bryan Robson Boy's A Bit Special Danny Simpson Perfect XI Garth Crooks, Bryan Robson, Sir Bobby Charlton, Eric Cantona What Happened Next? David May, Norman Whiteside Sing When You’re Winning Dominic Monaghan, Ian Brown And Another Thing Being a Big Four fan

Plus! Rate United players (and others) on Talentspotter