The agent of Real Madrid stalwart Karim Benzema insists his client has "absolutely no intention" of leaving the Santiago Bernabeu amid highly speculative suggestions that Arsenal have resurrected their long-running pursuit of his services.
Benzema to Arsenal is a transfer rumour that has typically been recycled on an biannual basis for several years now and reports from Spain cited by The Mirror on Thursday (19 October) claimed that the Gunners had tabled a new offer, with both the French striker and Los Blancos president Florentino Perez said to be open to the move.
That is despite the fact that it was only last month that Benzema put pen to paper on a new four-year contract that reportedly contained a staggering €1bn (£897.5m, $1.1bn) release clause and an annual salary in excess of €7.5m.
The player's representative, Karim Djaziri, has quickly stamped out those renewed rumours, telling Sky Sports News: "Karim Benzema is very happy at Real Madrid. He signed a contract extension last month and has absolutely no intention of leaving the club."
Benzema is in his ninth season at Real and his two goals in eight appearances across all competitions so far this term mean he has now scored 183 times in 373 total outings for the reigning Spanish and European champions.
Never a truly prolific goal-getter on the same extraordinary level as teammate Cristiano Ronaldo, the 29-year-old, who needs 27 more to overtake Hugo Sanchez for sixth place on Real Madrid's list of all-time top scorers, has received criticism during a slow start to the 2017-18 campaign that has seen Zinedine Zidane's side score nine fewer La Liga goals than leaders Barcelona and six fewer than second-place Valencia.
Supporters and even Gary Lineker were particularly harsh on Benzema after a thoroughly engrossing Champions League Group H tie against Tottenham Hotspur on Tuesday [17 October] night, with the two-time La Liga champion - who was previously sidelined for six games as the result of a hamstring injury - missing more than one glaring opportunity and falling foul of a heroic display from visiting goalkeeper Hugo Lloris.
Zidane refused to single him out for criticism in his post-match press conference, however, telling reporters: "I've not spoken to Karim. He would have liked to have scored the goal, but as for the Lloris save, if we replayed it 10 times he'd only keep it out once and tonight was that one time.
"Karim looks like he always does to me, every day he's getting better. He scored against Getafe and could have scored today. Patience is the key and we're now thinking about the next game."
Arsenal did finally address their significant striker weakness over the summer, splashing out a club-record fee of £46.5m to acquire Alexandre Lacazette from Benzema's former employers Lyon. The Les Bleus international has netted four goals in nine appearances for his new club to date and became the first Gunners player since Brian Marwood in September 1988 to notch in each of his opening three home matches with a brace against West Bromwich Albion in September.