BREAKING: Benzema set to miss start of the season

Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema is a doubt for the start of the new La Liga season, the Spanish giants have revealed.

The Arsenal target has been diagnosed with a thigh injury with less than just three weeks to go until Real’s first game of the season against Sporting Gijon on August 23.

His setback was announced in a statement on the Madrid club’s official website, with the forward set to undergo further evaluation on the muscular complaint.

Benzema, 27, has been strongly linked with a move to the Emirates Stadium this summer, with fans and former Gunners stars calling for the club to put their reported £400million war chest to good use and land the France international at whatever cost.

Despite constant speculation, he is expected to stay at the Bernabeu, however.

When asked if the star forward could leave La Liga before the transfer deadline, head coach Rafael Benitez said: “My answer is that I think Benzema is going to stay with us.”

Speaking ahead of Tuesday’s Audi Cup clash against Tottenham in Munich, he added: “I’m very happy with him. There’s no reason to think that he’s going to go.”