Karim Benzema
Karim Benzema could be deemed surplus to requirements at Real Madrid after Rafael Benitez was named as Carlo Ancelotti's successor AFP

Karim Benzema's agent claims his client intends to retire at Real Madrid and would only leave the club if he was told to amid recent transfer talk linking the player with both Arsenal and Manchester United.

French striker Benzema, part of the so-called 'BBC' trio alongside Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo, scored 22 times in all competitions last term as Carlo Ancelotti's side finished two points behind Barcelona in La Liga and suffered defeat to Juventus in the Champions League semi-finals.

Despite his consistently healthy goal return, significant doubts regarding the 27-year-old's future at the Bernabeu have been raised in recent days with reports suggesting that Rafael Benitez, unveiled as Ancelotti's successor earlier this week, would prefer to see Ronaldo occupy a lone striker role during his tenure.

Such claims have contributed to speculation that Benzema could join new signing Memphis Depay at Old Trafford amid suggestions that Manchester United's executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward was spotted with representative Karim Djaziri at the Savoy Hotel in London last week.

Arsene Wenger is also believed to be a long-term admirer of the former Lyon forward. Recurring rumours regarding a possible £35m ($53.4m) swoop for his services led to the Arsenal boss having to field questions regarding his potential interest prior to last month's FA Cup final victory.

Despite this uncertainty, Djaziri has reiterated Benzema's desire to remain at Real Madrid while flatly denying claims he has met with any other clubs.

"Karim wants to see out his contract. He wants to retire at Real Madrid," he told Spanish daily Marca.

"I haven't met with any club in London. Not with United and not with anyone else. We haven't held talks with anyone other than Real Madrid.

"What is Karim going to do in Manchester? He's happy in Madrid. He doesn't want to leave. Benzema would only leave if Real Madrid told him he was surplus to requirements, because he isn't going to leave of his own accord".

While Depay will hope to feature regularly for Manchester United following his arrival from PSV Eindhoven, it certainly would come as no surprise to see Louis van Gaal proritise at least one further striker addition with Radamel Falcao returning to AS Monaco at the end of his loan spell and Robin van Persie apparently attracting attention from the likes of Juventus.

Arsenal, meanwhile, moved Theo Walcott back to his preferred central position for the final two matches of last season and Wenger was rewarded handsomely for that decision as the versatile but injury prone England international notched four goals to help inspire emphatic victories over West Brom and Aston Villa.

It remains to be seen if the Gunners intend to deploy Walcott as a striker for the long term, however, and concerns still linger as to whether Olivier Giroud is quite good enough to lead the line on a consistent basis for a team who desire to challenge for silverware on all fronts.