France football team head coach Didier Deschamps has entirely closed the doors on Karim Benzema’s return to the national team fold ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup final, saying that he already has a group of 24 players and he is going to continue with that.
Benzema, 34, was ruled out of the world due to muscular problems in the quadriceps even before France could play their first group-stage game. The forward has now recovered and even played a part in Real Madrid’s recent friendly game against Leganes on Thursday.
As for Deschamps, he once dodged the question after France’s semi-final win over Morocco by deciding not to comment on the matter. Earlier today, though, he had no choice but to clear the air, saying that the players he need for the showpiece event are already in the squad.
“I see that they are passing the question from some journalists to others,” he was quoted as saying by SPORT.
“I’m not going to answer. There have been injured players, like Karim Benzema, the last one was Lucas Hernandez, and they already know the 24 players I have.”
“The group is there, I am not worried about the invitations of previous players, who is there or not. We had a group and we have lost three players along the way; Nkunku, Karim and Lucas Hernandez.
“We have a group of 24 players and they are the ones we will have in this case,” he added.
Deschamps’ comments come soon after Benzema, himself, posted a message on his social media channels, hinting that he would not be present at the venue to see his team defending the title against Argentina.
As far as his fitness is concerned, the 34-year-old has returned to playing competitive football after playing in a 60-minute friendly encounter against Leganes and if reports are to be believed, he will be available for Madrid’s La Liga game against Real Valladolid on December 30.
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.