It seems as if Real Madrid captain Karim Benzema may be edging closer to an exit from the club as a move to Saudi Arabia appears to be gaining momentum.
Indeed, according to AS, Benzema has one foot outside Real Madrid after he received a two-year contract offer worth a mammoth €400 million from a club in the Middle East.
Benzema’s current contract with Real Madrid expires on June 30. But his extension was taken for granted thanks to the Ballon d’Or clause, but the Frenchman has not confirmed his continuity at the club.
As such, he could now be set to depart the Santiago Bernabeu and move to Saudi Arabia, where he would reunite with former teammate Cristiano Ronaldo.
The Middle East nation plan to make a bid for the 2030 FIFA World Cup and wish to boost its sporting profile before that by adding top players from across the globe.
Ronaldo arrived at Al Nassr in January, while Lionel Messi is being heavily linked with a move to Al Hilal. And now Benzema, too, could be on his way to Saudi Arabia.
As iterated earlier, the 35-year-old has been offered a two-year contract worth €200 million per season, tax-free.
Beyond that, Benzema will also be offered an ambassadorial role for the 2030 World Cup if Saudi Arabia are successful in their bid. It would mean that the striker will have a chance of earning large amounts beyond the two-year contract that has been offered.
And, as things stand, it seems that Benzema has a foot outside the door at Real Madrid and could very well be on his way to Asia.
If it does happen, it will leave a major void in the team and Carlo Ancelotti & co. are already looking at possible replacements, with Tottenham and England striker Harry Kane among the options.
Real Madrid rising star suffered against Atletico due to veteran forward’s absence, says Simeone
Real Madrid’s 3-1 defeat to Atletico Madrid was not the first time were in trouble this season. In fact, the Merengues have gone behind early in almost every league game so far.
However, the difference on Sunday night was that they never really mounted a comeback. More importantly, Jude Bellingham did not come good, for the first time.
Simeone unravels the mystery
A jubilant Diego Simeone spoke to the media after his side downed Real Madrid by three goals to one and spoke about a plethora of topics.
Interestingly, he commented specifically on why Bellingham did not have an impact at Civitas Metropolitano, citing the absence of Joselu as a key factor.
“No, the spaces were reduced and I think that Joselu’s lack of presence left him with fewer chances to get there, when he takes advantage of Joselu’s aerial play. We controlled him better, he’s extraordinary,” he said, as quoted by AS.
He even called out the refereeing on the night and insisted that the Real Madrid star-boy should have seen red for his late tackle on Angel Correa, saying:
“It looked like a sending-off to me live, it was a hard leg up, with Angelito hitting the ball.”
Ironically, he defended his defender Jose Maria Gimenez for an equally threatening tackle on the night.
“A bad foul, it’s a yellow card because it goes sideways. Bellingham goes from the front and I think it’s a bit more,” he stated paradoxically.
No time to lament
The game at Civitas Metropolitano may not have gone Real Madrid’s way. Yet, it is good for the Merengues to taste defeat early and see the gaping holes in their dynamic.
Carlo Ancelotti admitted in his press conference that he bore the lion’s share of the fault for Sunday’s loss and that he would have done things differently if given the chance.
“Maybe I could have done it better. It’s pretty clear. When the team doesn’t do what it has to do, it’s my responsibility,” he stated.
Nevertheless, Los Blancos have a hectic schedule ahead with two games in the next five days and a UCL fixture against Napoli next week. With Vinicius Jr back, one hopes they find their mojo once again.