Arsenal and Chelsea are monitoring Karim Benzema’s situation at Real Madrid very closely, after Bernabeu boss Carlo Ancelotti hinted that the French international is facing the axe.

The La Liga giants are set to face Levante this weekend – though Benzema may well be forced to watch on from the sidelines.

Ancelotti told reporters ahead of this weekend’s fixture that, while Benzema remains his first-choice striker, he could well be dropped for their next league encounter.

As reported by the Daily Star, Ancelotti said: "Benzema is the first-choice striker but Morata might play against Levante.

"Though he hasn't scored, I'm very happy with Benzema.”

Reports suggest Ancelotti’s stance is a tactic designed to hike up the 25-year-old’s asking price, with Arsenal and Chelsea both keen on the French frontman.

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho is keen to strengthen his frontline, having failed with a high-profile move for Wayne Rooney in the summer.

In the end, the Stamford Bridge outfit turned to Samuel Eto’o as a short-term solution to their stirker dilemma, though the Cameroon international has so far failed to impress in west London.

Meanwhile, Arsenal chief Arsene Wenger has made a new striker his number one priority, having missed out on Luis Suarez in the most recent transfer window.

Benzema is reportedly high on Wenger’s wish-list, and the Emirates stadium boss could well move for the Madrid outcast, as he attempts to lure the unsettled striker to Arsenal.

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