According to a fresh report by AS, Karim Benzema is close to joining Al Ittihad; the agreement is almost done, as per source close to the club.
The Frenchman will earn more than €100 million per year across his two-year contract if he finalises the deal. Madrid, however, are still in the dark about his decision, as there has been no official communication between the two parties.
Al Ittihad will sign Benzema on a free transfer as the veteran striker’s contract expires this summer. He was initially set to sign a new deal with Madrid, but has recently been tempted by the massive offer tabled to him from Saudi Arabia.
Earlier reports have stated that apart from €200 million+ across two seasons, Benzema will also get to retain 100% of his image rights, advertising money, and will also be an ambassador of the 2030 World Cup.
The Saudi government have approved and improved on all of Benzema’s request, and the player is not very tempted to leave Madrid at the end of the season. He has been in conversation with Cristiano Ronaldo about the Saudi league and life in the middle east.
Now, the five-time Champions League winner is a few hours away from completing the deal, the announcement for which could take place in the coming days, or weeks, if Madrid attempt to convince him to stay.
Al Ittihad players have already started to drop hints about the move, with Helder Costa saying, “We are very excited about the arrival of the Balon d’Or winner (Benzema).”
As far as replacements go, Madrid have a few names on the radar, starting with Harry Kane, who is reportedly Carlo Ancelotti’s priority for that position. A move for him will cost over €100 million, though, as Tottenham Hotspur chairman Daniel Levy is not ready to let him go easily.
Bellingham on his special assist in Girona 0-3 Real Madrid: “Been watching Luka every day”
Real Madrid usurped the top spot in the La Liga standings from arch-rivals FC Barcelona as they defeated Girona 3-0 away at Estadi Montilivi.
It was a fine performance from Carlo Ancelotti’s men against Michel’s side, with the returning Jude Bellingham leading the way for his team.
After being benched against Las Palmas in midweek, the England international returned to the starting XI today and turned in yet another Man of the Match display for Real Madrid.
It all started with Joselu opening the scoring just 15 minutes into the game, with Bellingham assisting the goal with a special, outside-of-the-boot pass from the left side, bringing back memories of Luka Modric doing something similar a few years ago.
Talking about that special pass, Bellingham said: “I’ve been watching Luka every day for months. I just want to be creative. It took the pressure off us at the start.”
On the match and the result, the 20-year-old stated that it was a good day across the board for Real Madrid, as he said: “It was an important win. They were doing very well. We made a statement of intent to La Liga. Three goals, a clean sheet….”
It has been a truly remarkable start to life at Real Madrid for Bellingham and expressing how he feels to play for the Merengues, he exclaimed:
“I feel very good. I have freedom of movement and I’m enjoying football. Whenever I put on this shirt I always try to do my best.”
Apart from assisting Joselu’s opener, Bellingham also got his name on the scoresheet in the second period. Talking about his goal, the wonderkid said:
“It wasn’t a very good finish. I could have scored some more, but the important thing is the victory.”
The strike meant that Bellingham now has seven goals and two assists across all competitions for Real Madrid. Reflecting on his brilliant start, he said:
“It’s a good start, not bad. I would like to continue on this path and I won’t always score or assist, but I will always give my best.”
Bellingham’s celebration has been a huge hit, with kids in school, players from other clubs, and many others mimicking it. When asked how his special celebration originated, he replied:
“I don’t know where I first celebrated. I think it was with Birmingham. It’s an inspiration to see kids doing it in schools. It’s a wonderful thing.”