Arsenal's hopes of signing Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema look to have ended after the 23-year-old French international confirmed he wants to stay at the Bernabeu.
Skysports.com reports how Benzema is determined to make a success of his fledgling career in La Liga, and as such has moved to distance himself from speculation linking him with a move away from Spain.
"I have not spoken to anyone," he told AS. "I am in Madrid and I want to succeed here. There is nothing else.
"It is normal that Madrid want to sign the best players in the world, but I will work hard to play. I will give 100 per cent."
The developments will come as a massive blow to Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger, who had been heavily linked with a move for Benzema this summer as he looks to strengthen his Gunners squad ahead of the new season.
After Gervinho's £11.5million move from Lille to the Emirates Stadium was confirmed yesterday, Wenger remained hopeful of adding another forward to his Arsenal ranks with a view to mounting an even stronger title challenge in 2011-12.
Juventus are another club believed to retain an interest in Benzema, whose relationship with current Real boss Jose Mourinho has been called into question in recent months, forming the source of rumours around his imminent exit from Madrid.
But Benzema has hit back at claims he has fallen foul of Mourinho, declaring his relationship with the former Porto, Chelsea and Inter Milan chief as harmonious.
"There is no problem with him," confirmed Benzema. "He is a great coach."
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