Rafael Benitez has dropped another hint Karim Benzema will stay - by insisting the striker could score 25 goals for Real Madrid this season.

Benzema's future at the Bernabeu has been under the microscope this summer and the Frenchman has been heavily linked with a move to Arsenal, despite the fact he is the only recognized striker at the Bernabeu.

Madrid, meanwhile, have been tipped to bring in another center forward, and Benitez has hinted that any new arrival up front could partner or provide an alternative to Benzema instead of replacing him.

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When asked if he is thinking about moving for a striker with different characteristics to Benzema, Benitez told Spanish newspaper El Pais: "It's that having alternatives in any position always helps.

"For example, the middle of the park - you have a midfielder who is better with containment and another with passing.

"Depending on the match, you can take advantage of one or the other. In the case of the striker, the same.

"Benzema is a great player. And one of my ideas this year is that he exceeds the barrier of 20-25 goals. In that, I have put a lot of confidence."

Benitez was also asked if he expects more new faces at the club before the close of the transfer window, to which he replied: "Until August 31, the market is open and there may be movements, but I only speak of the squad that I have.

"To improve our team is not easy, there are not many players better than the ones that we have and [that are] available on the market.

"But another way of improving is with quality work - specific work for each player or for each line."