Arsene Wenger has said he will not sign Karim Benzema, since he and Olivier Giroud are both competing for the same place in France's World Cup squad.
Wenger insists that similar competition at the club would be to the detriment of both strikers and he is therefore looking elsewhere to strengthen his attack. Benzema is expected to be available in January since Real Madrid are planning a swoop for Luis Suarez in the upcoming transfer window. The Spanish giants are already reported to have a deal in place with Suarez's agent, Pere Guardiola.
Suarez was the centre of a major transfer saga last summer, with Arsenal in the thick of the action. The north London club made a bid worth £40m plus £1 for the Uruguayan which was rejected by Liverpool. However, should Real plan a move, the Reds are likely to relent and Benzema will be on the move. The Frenchman is vying for a spot in the French national team and needs regular football to keeps his hopes alive. Wenger is a long term admirer of the striker and may change his mind if he becomes available for a reasonable fee. For now, though, he is talking the deal down.
"I don't think that's a good idea. In France we have a competition for the striker position, between Giroud and Benzema. You cannot fault Giroud's mentality of commitment. He has been mentally tested," Wenger said.
The Frenchman also backed Laurent Koscielny to make it to the France squad for the World Cup. The defender was sent off in the first leg against Ukraine and awaits the results of a hearing to discover how long he will be banned for.
"No one knows at the moment how long he will be suspended. If he gets four games... it could influence the decision of Didier Deschamps to take him or not. If he gets less than three, I think he will go. If he gets three, I think he will go as well, because he could play at least one of the qualifiers," Wenger said.
"He's disappointed, but he's OK. It is unlike him. What played the part in him is conceding the penalty. That was on his mind certainly when he reacted like that. It was like he slapped himself, you know," he said.