Karim Benzema
Manchester United and Arsenal are reportedly interested in BenzemaGetty Images/PAUL ELLIS

Manchester United and Arsenal may receive a boost in their battle to secure the services of coveted Karim Benzema after reports in Spain claimed the France international is not in the starting line-up plans of new manager Rafa Benitez.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is said to be a big admirer of his compatriot and has been linked with him in recent seasons.

Reports claimed the French boss is ready to renew their efforts to sign the Real Madrid star during the summer transfer window to make him the number nine at the Emirates Stadium ahead of Olivier Giroud.

Meanwhile, according to Manchester United evening news on Thursday 4 June, United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward met with Benzema's agent earlier this week to hold talks regarding a potential £40m move to Old Trafford.

The Premier League giants hope to sign the France international following the arrival of former Chelsea and Liverpool manager Benitez to the Santiago Bernabeu.

cristiano ronaldo
Rafa Benitez set to hand the number nine to Ronaldo.AS

The Spanish boss refused to expound on his formation plans during his presentation at the La Liga giants on 3 June but Spanish newspaper AS claimed he is ready to hand Cristiano Ronaldo the lone striker role to make space for Gareth Bale in his favoured position on the left-flank while leaving Benzema out of the line-up.

Asked about that possibility during his presentation, Benitez said: "Rather than going into what kinds of systems will be used, today is more about explaining my working methods.

"Some people have claimed that my teams are defensive but my last team, Napoli, ended the season scoring 104 goals. A quality team should be attacking, and here at Madrid all of the players are good."

AS claims the former Liverpool boss plans a 4-2-3-1 system similar to the one has been used at Napoli during the past two seasons, breaking Carlo Ancelotti's famous BBC (Benzema, Bale, Cristiano) with Benzema the sacrifice.

The Spanish publication suggest Benzema could stay to be part of the rotation system of Benitez but with Real Madrid reportedly interested in Manchester City's Sergio Aguero, they many consider selling the France international to fund other moves as they did in previous years with Mesut Ozil and Angel di Maria.