Earlier today, France manager Didier Deschamps announced the squad for the upcoming UEFA Euro 2024 Qualifiers against the Netherlands and the Republic of Ireland later this month.
The Les Bleus’ head coach has called up two Real Madrid players in Aurelien Tchouameni and Eduardo Camavinga for the fixtures, with the latter being named in the squad as a backup left-back by the manager.
After releasing the squad list, Deschamps took questions from the media and unsurprisingly, the topic of Karim Benzema came up during the discussions.
The relationship between the two has completely broken down since the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar, when Deschamps allegedly sent Benzema home from the France camp even though his injury was not serious enough for him to miss the entire tournament.
Recently, the France manager had given an explanation on what went down, stating that it was Benzema’s decision to leave the national team camp after an MRI scan.
It had sparked a response from Benzema, with the Real Madrid captain taking to social media to fire shots at the France boss, by writing ‘What audacity’ with a clown emoji and ‘Holy Didier, goodnight’ in two different posts.
When asked about Benzema’s social media activity, Deschamps said: “I’m not watching social media. I know this is a subject of interest for you [reporters] because it leads to debate and controversies.
“As I said, I had to speak recently to say what happened and, to me, the matter is closed, it’s behind me. I’m not going to comment again on whatever is being said. What matters to me is what lies ahead, the future and those two upcoming games.”
When pushed further on the matter, Deschamps went on to term Benzema’s antics as ‘disturbances’ and said the issue is behind him now.
“We had disturbances and we have always had… I’m not gonna talk more about this. You won’t hear one more word from me on this. I spoke up about what happened. Today, it’s behind me and nothing will make me say more on this subject,” he said.
Following the World Cup fracas, Benzema decided to announce his retirement from international football. But the striker is yet to speak publicly on what went down in Qatar and it will certainly be interesting to hear the Real Madrid captain’s side of the story.
Meanwhile, Deschamps also shared his thought process behind naming Camavinga as a left-back in the squad, saying: “He’s versatile to play in other positions but in these games, he gives me more guarantees as a left-back. We already talked about it.”
PSG defender could follow Kylian Mbappe to Real Madrid in the summer of 2025
As PSG brace for the departure of Kylian Mbappe, it is set to mark a before and after in the history of the French club.
All signs point towards the 25-year-old superstar signing for Real Madrid on a free transfer, with an agreement between the two parties getting closer.
And, it may so happen that another PSG star might follow Mbappe to the Santiago Bernabeu, albeit a year later in 2025.
Hakimi could return to Real Madrid
Indeed, according to Mundo Deportivo, Achraf Hakimi could opt to leave PSG in the summer of 2025 and Real Madrid would be a likely destination for the Moroccan right-back.
Hakimi, a former Real Madrid academy graduate, has enjoyed success in Paris since joining them from Inter Milan.
However, the Moroccan international will enter the final year of his contract in 2025, with the deal expiring in 2026. And, both the player and the club could opt to part ways then if a new contract is not agreed upon.
And a return to Real Madrid could be on the cards for Hakimi. He is a player very well considered by Carlo Ancelotti.
The ex-Inter Milan man would also come to reinforce the right-back position, which currently has Dani Carvajal and Lucas Lucas Vazquez, whose contract expires at the end of the season, but could be offered a one-year extension.
Furthermore, Hakimi would be keen to return to the Spanish capital and would even be willing to reduce his current salary, which is over €10 million net. The lure of playing with Mbappe, one of his closest friends, will also be a major appealing factor.
As for Real Madrid, they need to soon find a long-term heir to Carvajal and a player like Hakimi, entering his prime years and familiar with the club could prove to be a shrewd signing.