by Lewis Ambrose

As things stand Karim Benzema is Real Madrid’s number one striker, and he doesn’t know any different.

Everything indicates that the French international is happy in Madrid and unwilling to move as long as he is playing regular football, but that is no longer guaranteed with Rafa Benitez taking over this summer.

Plenty of reports coming out of Spain are under the impression that Benitez is planning to use wingers Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale more centrally, leaving Benzema out in the cold. Two summers ago Arsène Wenger struck a deal for Mesut Özil after Carlo Ancelotti gave the German playmaker the impression that he was not integral to his plans.

If Benzema receives a similar message from the new Real Madrid manager, Wenger will surely make a move. The Arsenal manager has been a fan of the French striker for a long time, and has reportedly made contact with him this summer over the prospect of a move to north London.

Manchester United would also be looking to strike a deal for the striker if he became available having lost Radamel Falcao and Robin van Persie from last season’s squad, but Arsenal would be hopeful of Wenger clinching Benzema’s signature.

Arsenal have a number of options up front, including Benzema’s international teammate Olivier Giroud, but it is likely that Wenger sees the 27 year-old Real Madrid man as a level just above what is currently at his disposal.