Arsenal dealt hammer blow in pursuit of £20m hitman

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Reported Arsenal target Karim Benzema will not be leaving Real Madrid this summer, his agent has confirmed.

It had been widely speculated that the 23-year-old would leave the Santiago Bernabeu after failing to claim a regular starting berth under the stewardship of Jose Mourinho.

According to Metro, Arsenal had been planning a £20 million move for the French striker, but it would know appear that he will not be making a transfer window move to north London.

"Karim is not going to leave Real Madrid for Arsenal or anywhere else," his representative Karim Djaziri said. "To make it absolutely clear he is staying in Madrid."

The acquisition of a proven goalscorer is thought to be a top-priority for Arsene Wenger prior to next season as the Arsenal boss attempts to draft in capable cover for Robin van Persie.

The Arsenal no.10 has been in sensational form this year but, with Van Persie's chequered injury history, Wenger knows he is unlikely to have the 27-year-old fully fit for an entire season.

This, coupled with Marouane Chamakh failing to live up to his billing after joining Arsenal last summer and Nicklas Bendtner regularly disapponting, is expected to force Wenger's hand in the transfer market.

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