Villa are reported to have slapped the incredible price tag on the striker's head in the hope it will scare off the Gunners, Tottenham, Atletico Madrid and any other interested clubs.
Arsene Wenger has put a top quality striker at the top of his wanted list but he will not be willing to pay that much for Benteke, who cost just £8million when Villa snapped him up from Genk last summer.
Villa accept they will lose the 22-year-old at some point but they are determined to keep hold for at least another season and will knock back all bids for the player unless they reach £40million.
Wenger knows he could sign Wayne Rooney or Stevan Jovetic for less and is likely to drop all interest in Benteke unless Villa's valuation drops significantly.
Arsenal last week