It has all gone awry for Real Madrid and Karim Benzema in a matter of 24 hours. Such has been the confusion generated through developments that the club’s transfer plans all of a sudden are no longer clear.
The Ballon d’Or winner was set to extend his contract with Real Madrid ahead of the 2023-24 season until Wednesday night. A rapid domino effect, however, began with the Frenchman receiving an offer from Saudi Arabia and he now appears closer to leaving than staying.
The Saudi Arabia-based club offer Benzema a two-year contract worth a staggering €400 million.
The situation is complicated for Real Madrid for the club have not budgeted a big chunk of their finances for a striker this summer.
The administration ran around the assumption that Benzema would stay regardless, and now find themselves in an urgent need to reorder their priorities if he chooses to depart.
According to reports from Tomas Gonzalez-Martin, Florentino Perez & co. could get a much-needed final decision from Benzema by Sunday. The club legend wants a few days to weigh up both options and the merits they bring to the table.
There are two options on the club’s table if Benzema opts to look for greener grasses – to sign a quality replacement directly or to sign a temporary replacement until next summer. As it stands, the latter appears more probable.
Amongst the names linked with an arrival on that front are Joselu and Roberto Firmino. Another option considered is Real Madrid youngster Juanmi Latasa who is on loan at Getafe. All eyes, undoubtedly, will be on Benzema’s decision later this week.
Official: Real Madrid starting lineup against Las Palmas
Real Madrid will be looking to return to winning ways as they get set to take on UD Las Palmas in a couple of hours at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Following the derby debacle against Atletico de Madrid last weekend, it is imperative for Los Merengues to bounce back strongly tonight.
With kick-off not very long away, Carlo Ancelotti has announced the starting lineup that will be stepping onto the pitch to face Las Palmas.
Ancelotti has changed things a fair bit from the derby defeat, with both Luka Modric and Toni Kroos dropping to the bench.
But the biggest surprise is that Jude Bellingham has also been rested by the Real Madrid boss.
Instead, Real Madrid go in with the quartet of Aurelien Tchouameni, Federico Valverde, Eduardo Camavinga, and Brahim Diaz in their diamond midfield setup. The latter makes his first start for Real Madrid this season.
Up top, Joselu returns to the starting lineup, pairing up alongside Rodrygo Goes while Vinicius Jr remains on the bench, having only recently returned from an injury.
At the back, club captain Nacho Fernandez starts his first game of the season at the expense of Lucas Vazquez at right-back. Ferland Mendy also gets a look-in at left-back while David Alaba and Antonio Rudiger make up the rearguard that will shield Kepa Arrizabalaga.