Premier League

Fergie admires Benzema

United boss hails French forward

Benzema: Top talent

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Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has spoken of his admiration for Lyon striker Karim Benzema.

The France international is regarded as one of Europe's hottest properties, with a number of top clubs believed to have expressed an interest in acquiring his services.

United are reported to be among that group, with Chelsea, Real Madrid and Barcelona also keen on the talented 21-year-old.

Ferguson insists he is not about to make an imminent move for the powerful frontman, due to the inflated price tag on his head, but admits that Benzema is the type of player he would welcome in his squad.

"He is an excellent footballer," the Old Trafford chief told Le Journal du Dimanche.

"He reminds me of (Zinedine) Zidane in the way that he uses his body. He has broad shoulders and a great drive when he has the ball at his feet.

"You always have to keep your eye on the very best players, seeing how they evolve. But I have never said that I want to buy him.

"When we played Lyon last season (in the UEFA Champions League), chairman Jean-Michel Aulas told me: 'Chelsea have made a 50million Euros (£44m) offer for Benzema.' I told him: 'For such a fee, I will let Chelsea have him."