In a major turn of events, Real Madrid superstar and captain Karim Benzema could very well be on his way out at the end of the season.
The 35-year-old French striker’s current contract with the Merengues expires this summer, but it had been claimed that the club had already secured his future for one more year, along with Toni Kroos and Luka Modric.
However, over the past few hours, there have been a lot of rumblings about Benzema and a possible move to Saudi Arabia, who are understood to have presented a mammoth €200 million contract offer for the veteran hitman.
In fact, as per the latest reports, Benzema appears to be closer to leaving Real Madrid than staying. Los Blancos, for their part, will respect his decision if he opts to move on at the end of the season.
And as per Pablo Polo of MARCA (h/t Madrid Xtra), Real Madrid are already focusing on Premier League duo Harry Kane and Roberto Firmino as possible options to reinforce the No. 9 slot if Benzema leaves.
Kane has been on the radars of Real Madrid for some time now. And given that Tottenham have failed to qualify for Champions League football next season, there is a strong chance that the England captain might opt to leave, especially with his contract expiring in 2024.
However, a deal for the in-form hitman is seen as a tad bit complicated due to Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy and his reputation as being ‘difficult’ when it comes to negotiations.
As for Firmino, the Liverpool icon is set to leave the club as a free agent this summer and has popped up on the radars at the Santiago Bernabeu. While he was initially seen as a possible backup for Benzema, the Brazilian is now seen as a possible replacement for the captain.
Firmino, though, wants to hear Real Madrid’s plans for him before making a decision on whether the make the jump to the Spanish capital club or not.
This is certainly a huge development as far as Real Madrid are concerned and if Benzema is indeed considering an exit, it will a big void in the team.
Kane would be a more than adequate replacement for him at the Santiago Bernabeu. However, the same cannot be said about Firmino, who would be a handy second-choice at this stage of his career.
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.”