This is according to Spanish radio station Cadena Cope - brought to our attention by the Mirror and the Telegraph - whose journalist Paco Gonzalez claims Benzema has turned down the opportunity to join the Gunners.
It’s understood that the 27-year-old is happy at Real Madrid and plans to stay at the Bernabeu beyond this summer, despite speculation claiming he could be replaced upfront by Cristiano Ronaldo next season.
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It’s also been reported that Benitez is on the hunt for a new centre-forward - having been linked with both Fernando Llorente and Robin van Persie over the past week - and Wenger may have detected that Benzema might have been feeling slightly unsettled by the recent wave of speculation.
Benzema, however, is a firm favourite of Florentino Perez and was photographed smiling alongside the Real Madrid president as the squad reunited for pre-season training on Thursday. Perez is extremely unlikely to sanction the sale of the former Lyon star unless the services of a world-class replacement have been secured first.
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Karim Benzema would replace Olivier Giroud
It was reported last month that Arsenal were poised to submit a £35 million offer for Benzema, who has also been linked with Manchester United in recent weeks, with the Gunners keen to sign the prolific striker as a replacement for Olivier Giroud.
Giroud has scored 58 goals in 134 appearances since joining the Gunners from Montpellier in the summer of 2012, but is arguably a class below his compatriot in terms of quality.
Real Madrid likely to keep Benzema
Benzema is widely regarded as one of the best number nines on the planet, while the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale have made no secret of the fact he makes their job significantly easier.
An unselfish centre-forward, who has sacrificed himself in recent years for the good of the team, Benzema would the perfect foil for players such as Alexis Sanchez, Theo Walcott and Mesut Ozil at Arsenal.
While Benitez would prefer to move Ronaldo to the centre-forward position, it’s believed the three-time Ballon d’Or winner is not particularly keen on the idea.
This suggests Benzema will begin the 2015-16 campaign upfront, with Ronaldo and Bale continuing on the flanks.
Arsenal fans: would you be happy if Karim Benzema replaced Olivier Giroud - or do you feel Giroud is good enough to lead the Gunners’ line? Should Danny Welbeck be given another chance to sign? Get your comments in down below!
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