Real Madrid have no intention whatsoever of letting Karim Benzema leave this summer amidst interest from Arsenal, according to Spanish journalist Guillem Balague.
The French forward has been a target for the Gunners for some time now, with new Madrid boss Rafa Benitez reportedly ready to give Gareth Bale a more central role this season.
Working against Arsenal is the fact that Benzema is Madrid's only specialist striker for the upcoming season, and Balague says there's no chance of a deal happening as things stand.
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He tweeted this morning: "By the way, nobody at Real Madrid expects Benzema to leave..."
The news backs up comments made by Benitez earlier today when he reiterated his stance that the 25-goal striker won't be on the move to join Arsenal or anyone else this summer as Madrid look to win back the league title from Barcelona and make an impact in Europe.
However he did add that he was looking to bring in a forward, which will only serve to add to speculation regarding Benzema's future.
When asked if he is thinking about moving for a striker Benitez told Spanish newspaper El Pais: "It's that having alternatives in any position always helps. "For example, the middle of the park - you have a midfielder who is better with containment and another with passing.
"Depending on the match, you can take advantage of one or the other. In the case of the striker, the same. Benzema is a great player. And one of my ideas this year is that he exceeds the barrier of 20-25 goals. In that, I have put a lot of confidence."
Arsenal currently have Olivier Giroud as their only senior striker as things stand, although the Frenchman demonstrated his quality with a superbly taken strike in the 2-1 win against Crystal Palace yesterday.
Do Arsenal actually need to sign Karim Benzema?
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