Karim Benzema to Arsenal and Gareth Bale to Manchester United rumours played down by Rafa Benitez

Real Madrid manager expects strike duo to remain at the Bernabeu, despite speculation

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The Independent Football

Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema will remain at Real Madrid beyond the close of the transfer window, predicts Rafa Benitez.

Bale has long been linked with a move to Manchester United and, with Angel Di Maria poised to leave Old Trafford in a £44m deal to Paris St Germain, fresh talk about a possible bid for the world's most expensive player has re-emerged.

It is a similar story with Benzema, with Arsenal the latest in a long line of reported suitors believed to be keen on the 27-year-old France international.

However, Real Madrid manager Benitez is not expecting either forward to be leaving the club any time soon.

He told a press conference ahead of Tuesday's Audi Cup clash against Tottenham in Munich: "Gareth is a huge player for us and I know that he's happy.

"I'm not going to talk about offers. Everything is well and he's going to have a good season with us I'm sure."

On speculation about Benzema, former Liverpool boss Benitez added: "My answer is that I think Benzema is going to stay with us. I'm very happy with him. There's no reason to think that he's going to go."

In the aftermath of Arsenal's Community Shield victory, Arsene Wenger denied there was any truth to the rumours Benzema was heading to the Emirates.

Karim Benzema during Real Madrid's pre-season win over Manchester City


Another player whose future has been heavily in the spotlight this summer is Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea.

Real want to bring the former Atletico Madrid number one back to the Spanish capital, but so far United have only wanted do a deal with the 10-time European champions if defender Sergio Ramos joins the Red Devils in return.

Asked about De Gea, Benitez said: "I've said in five previous press conferences that I don't want to talk about players who are in other teams. We have three very good keepers. I can talk about them, not other goalkeepers."

Additional reporting by PA