Arsene Wenger believes Karim Benzema has been linked with Arsenal “because he’s French” and insists his side do not need another striker.
Reports have suggested the forward has been offered to the Gunners and Premier League rivals Chelsea by Real Madrid president Florentino Perez, who is said to have grown frustrated with the 29-year-old’s performances this season.
Arsenal have been put forward as potential suitors for Benzema on a number of occasions, but while Wenger says the latest rumours come as little surprise, he does not believe his forward line needs reinforcing.
When asked why Benzema has been linked again, Wenger told a news conference: “Because he’s French, and maybe there are some noises that he will leave Madrid. But as I just told you, we have no need to buy a striker.”
Pressed over whether a bid after the end of the season could be possible, Wenger added: “It’s not my worry at the moment. My worry is the next game against Watford.
“We have a big squad, we’re not in the need to buy. On the general front it’s been very quiet [in January], which shows the players that are available.
“All the teams, especially the big teams, have big squads. That’s why not a lot happened.
“It’s not only to buy players, you have to have a need in your squad. I believe that, numbers-wise and quality-wise, we have what is required to do well. Now it’s down to us to perform with the quality of our focus and ambition.”
Although Arsenal are unlikely to make any signings before the window closes on Tuesday, the future of full-back Carl Jenkinson remains in doubt.
The 24-year-old’s proposed move to Crystal Palace appears to have stalled and Wenger is not optimistic a resolution will be reached.
“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.”
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