Real Madrid do not want to let the France
international leave, but the Gunners will be
waiting to pounce if he falls out of favour as
Rafa Benitez's reign gets under way.
Arsenal are prepared to bide their time and
wait until the end of the transfer window for a
potential deal to sign Karim Benzema from
Arsene Wenger has identified Benzema as his
top target to improve the Gunners' attack this
summer and still believes the striker could end
up in north London.
Real Madrid have said that Benzema is not for
sale and the 27-year-old is happy in the Spanish
capital, but Arsenal are closely monitoring his
Manchester United have also expressed an
interest in the Frenchman should he become
available towards the end of the transfer
Arsenal believe they can clinch a deal for
Benzema in a similar manner to the £42.5
million signing of Mesut Ozil from Real
Madrid on the final day of the transfer window
There has been speculation in Spain that
Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale have both
been pencilled in to play in more central
positions by new Real Madrid coach Rafael
Benzema is known as a favourite of Madrid
president Florentino Perez but could look to
move if he finds himself out of the side in the
early part of the season.
Wenger wants to add a top quality forward to
his squad and has allowed alternatives to join
other clubs this summer in the hope that
Benzema will become available in August.
Arsenal are prepared to spend around £35m on
Benzema as they look to make the former
Lyon man their marquee summer signing
following the arrivals of Ozil and Alexis
Sanchez in the last two years.
Wenger has told confidants that, if he cannot
land Benzema, he is prepared to continue with
Olivier Giroud as the club's main striker next
season, with Sanchez and Theo Walcott also
able to play as central strikers.
Arsenal have also been linked with a move for
Napoli forward Gonzalo Higuain, but Wenger
has made it clear that he believes Benzema is
the player that can fire Arsenal to their first
Premier League title since 2004.
Benzema joined Real Madrid from Lyon in
2009 and has won one La Liga title and the
Champions League since his arrival. Last
season, he scored 22 goals in 46 appearances
for the club in all competitions.