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Wenger reacts to Benzema to Arsenal reports with classic response

13:08 GMT+3 30/01/2017
Karim Benzema Real Madrid Borussia Dortmund Champions League
The Gunners boss has played down recent links to the Real Madrid striker but did not completely rule out a summer move for the Frenchman

Arsene Wenger has sought to play down the latest rumours linking Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema with a move to Arsenal.

The France international has long been mooted as a target for the Gunners, but the man in charge at Emirates Stadium believes the ongoing speculation is driven purely by nationality.

When quizzed on why he thinks Benzema is generating transfer talk once again, Wenger said: “Because he is French and maybe there is a bit of noise that he could leave Madrid.”

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The 29-year-old has incurred the wrath of Real supporters of late, with the Santiago Bernabeu faithful less than impressed by his contribution to the collective cause.

There have been calls for him to be dropped by Zinedine Zidane, with Alvaro Morata considered to be more deserving of a regular starting role.

That has helped to spark further exit speculation, but Wenger is adamant that he has no need to bolster his attacking options.

He saw Danny Welbeck get back into the goalscoring groove in a FA Cup clash with Southampton over the weekend, in a fixture which also saw Theo Walcott net a hat-trick.

Olivier Giroud has impressed over recent months, while Alexis Sanchez remains a talismanic figure and Lucas Perez a useful option to have in reserve.

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Wenger added: “There is no need for us to buy any strikers.

"On our front, we have a big squad and don’t need to buy.

"I believe that numbers and quality wise we have what is required."

When pushed on whether he could move for Benzema in the summer, however, Wenger continued: "In the summer window? That’s not my worry at the moment. My worry is the next game against Watford."

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While eager to distance himself from the Madrid striker, Wenger also hinted that there will be no additions across the board at the Emirates Stadium in January.

He said: "It has been quiet and that shows there are not many players available that can strengthen English teams.

"It is not only to buy players. You have to have a need in your squad."

The Frenchman was also unable to clarify whether Carl Jenkinson will be heading for the exits before the deadline passes, with the defender’s proposed move to Crystal Palace having stalled.

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"There's no news about him at all," he said. "

We're still open [to offers] because we have many players in his position but at the moment it doesn't look like something will happen.

"[The Palace deal] isn't dead for us, no. For him, I don't know. He's integrated, we respect any professional decision. He's a great player with a great attitude, there's no problem on that front. After that, he must find happiness."