Arsenal and Manchester United have been dealt a blow after Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema's agent confirmed his client's desire to remain at the Santiago Bernabeu beyond this summer.
The Gunners were heavily linked with a move, and according to Spanish publication El Confidential, they had already made contact with regards to a summer move. It was claimed that the striker was not averse to the idea of moving to the Emirates Stadium during the ongoing transfer window.
It has been revealed by Arsenal director Lord Harris that Arsene Wenger is in the market for a striker, and the 72-year-old has also backed the manager to break the club's transfer record to land his priority summer targets.
Apart from the 12-time FA Cup champions, Premier League rivals Manchester United were also keen on signing the French international forward, according to the Daily Mail, but his agent Karim Djaziri has indicated that his client is staying put with his current employers.
"Karim is very happy at Real Madrid and he will be a Real Madrid player by the end of this transfer window, 1,000 per cent. Karim is not looking to move anywhere this summer," Djaziri told Sky Sports, as quoted by Goal.
Wenger is a big admirer of the French striker, and has been linked with a move for him in the past. Petr Cech's arrival from Chelsea has been the north London club's only signing thus far this summer, and the Gunners manager has indicated that he will make another signing only if a top-quality player who can substantially improve the team becomes available.
Benzema had an impressive 2014/15 campaign on a personal level, scoring 15 goals and providing 11 assists. However, new manager Rafael Benitez is reportedly planning to deploy Cristiano Ronaldo as a central striker, which could threaten the former Lyon forward's place in the team and has prompted speculation regarding a summer move to the Premier League.