Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger will pursue Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema should he become available for £40m in the remaining weeks of the summer transfer window, according to Charlie Nicholas. The former Gunners forward would also expect Olivier Giroud to leave the club should the deal for the France international be completed.
The north London club have been continually linked with a move for Benzema, who scored 21 club goals in all competitions last season. Italian journalist Emanuele Giulianelli believes Real are considering a bid from the Premier League side worth a club record £45m.
During the opening day defeat to West Ham United, Arsenal showed a worrying bluntness in-front of goal with Giroud and Theo Walcott failing to inspire during a poor start to the campaign. Nicholas expects the Emirates Stadium club to cure such problems in a mass overhaul of their forward line.
"[Wenger] He'll only go into the market if he knows he can get better players than he's already got," the ex-Arsenal man told Sky Bet, according to Sky Sports. "He's not a man who buys for the sake of buying and I've always believed that philosophy is correct.
"Over the last few years he's spent a fortune on Ozil and Sanchez. He brought in the experience of Mertasacker and now he's brought in Cech so he's been more adaptable than he maybe was in the past.
"If Benzema was to become available for say £40m and he felt he was going to make the side better he'd sign him and you sell Giroud or one or two other players. I do think he'll actively be searching the market and if nothing comes up he won't buy for the sake of buying."
After Giroud suffered a head injury against the Hammers, Arsenal could yet start with Walcott in attack for the trip to Crystal Palace. With Danny Welbeck still out injured, Wenger has spoken of his desire to rotate the two forwards during the upcoming campaign. Walcott started the Community Shield win over Chelsea before making way for the opening day loss. "It depends on the games," Wenger admitted. "I tried to see the options I have through the season."