Arsene Wenger remains interested in signing Karim Benzema from Real Madrid this summer, but if the deal fails to materialise, the Arsenal manager has a "secret" transfer in place.

Benzema is Wenger's first option this summer, and Arsenal are reportedly working hard to try and convince Real Madrid to sell the France international striker.

Reports have suggested, Arsenal have already made a €45m (£31.3m) bid for the striker, but Real Madrid, after initially being open to a sale, have decided against letting go of Benzema.

However, things could change as the transfer window progresses, something that Wenger knows pretty well. The Arsenal manager is willing to play the waiting game on Benzema, but if it becomes clear that the striker will not leave Real Madrid this summer – or if someone like PSG outbid Arsenal – Wenger has a second option in place, according to Spanish journalist Kike Marin.

"Slowly, but surely. Wenger will try to sign to Benzema. If can not, Arsene has a second option #Arsenal," Marin revealed on his Twitter account.

When someone asked who the second option is, Marin replied: "Top... secret."

Wenger insisted a deal is not currently in place to sign Benzema when asked about the possibility of signing the Frenchman, but there does seem like there is some substance to the transfer rumours linking the Real Madrid striker to the Emirates this time around.

Reports from Spain have suggested Benzema is not happy with suggestions that Rafa Benitez, the new Real Madrid manager, is set to play Cristiano Ronaldo as the central striker, and how much truth is there in those reports will only be revealed once the preseason gets into full swing, and the opening matches of the La Liga come into play.

If Benzema does decide his time at Real Madrid is at an end, Arsenal are likely to face stiff competition for the 27-year-old's signature, especially from PSG, who are also keen on the striker.

Wenger will then need to use his power of persuasion to convince Benzema his future lies with Arsenal, as PSG, or someone like Manchester United, if they haven't signed a striker by then, will be able to offer better wages.

However, all those are ifs and buts at the moment, since Benzema has shown no signs, as yet, of wanting to leave Real Madrid.

If he does, though, expect Arsenal to be the one of the first ones to make an offer.