This is according to respected El Confidencial journalist Kike Marin, who tweeted the news to Arsenal fans last night following a barrage of messages asking why Benzema has not joined the Gunners despite the wave of speculation over recent weeks.
“Yes, Benzema met with Wenger to go [to] Arsenal.” he tweeted, “but Real Madrid [decided not to] sell him. East to understand, gooners.”
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Benzema put an end to the intense speculation surrounding his future last week, posting a message on Twitter in which he hit out at “clowns” making up stories.
But it seems there may have been something in the rumours after all, despite the denials of Wenger, Real Madrid officials and Benzema himself.
Benzema would have been perfect for Arsenal
Real Madrid had previously issued public denials regarding stories linking them with various players this summer - including both Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba and Paris Saint-Germain star Marco Verratti - so why was there no statement to reassure fans that Benzema was staying put at the Bernabeu?
While Wenger certainly has options upfront, it would be hard to argue that Olivier Giroud, Theo Walcott or Danny Welbeck are at the same level as the world-class Benzema.
The 27-year-old would have significantly enhanced Arsenal’s chances of winning the Premier League title this season, but Real Madrid have wisely opted against cashing in on the Frenchman.
It may have been a different story had Rafael Benitez managed to convince Cristiano Ronaldo to vacate his favoured left-wing role in order to play as the main No. 9 at the Bernabeu - but the three-time Ballon d’Or winner has made it clear he has no desire to switch positions.
Arsenal fans: can your team still win the Premier League title without Karim Benzema this season? Let us know by leaving a comment in the box below!