It is almost a policy at Real Madrid to not sign veteran players on long deals or offer them renewals. The most recent example was that of Marcelo who was forced to leave the club in the summer.
That is what separates players like Luka Modric and Karim Benzema. The veteran duo are going strong despite their age and are still guaranteed starters in Carlo Ancelotti’s side. Needless to say, the club want the pair to be associated with the team until they can sustain their level.
According to journalist Tomas Gonzalez (h/t Defensa Central), Real Madrid have offered Benzema a contract extension until 2024. While it is only a one-year extension, one must remember that the Frenchman is 34 years old.
The striker’s current deal with Real Madrid keeps him at the club until the summer of 2023. It means there is less than a year before before his contract expires which now makes it a priority.
Last season, Benzema ran the show for Los Blancos. He was one of the biggest and most reliable pillars on the side and pulled the team out of tricky situations time and again. It would not be wrong to say that Real Madrid would not have won the Champions League without his timely goals.
In 32 league games, he scores a whopping 27 goals and recorded 12 assists last season. Additionally, he also found the back of the net 15 times and provided two assists in just 12 UCL starts.
The Frenchman joined preseason earlier today in Los Angeles where he directly joined the group. He is not expected to participate in the Clasico on Saturday but will certainly be one of the protagonists in the team for the coming season.
Keeping him at the club until 2024 makes sense for Real Madrid as it would allow them sufficient time to identify and recruit a long-term heir for the veteran.
Official: Real Madrid starting lineup against Napoli | UCL GW 5
Real Madrid are back in the Champions League following their impressive win against Cadiz on the weekend as they host Napoli at the Santiago Bernabeu for gameweek five.
They have already secured qualification to the round of 16, and even a point today would secure first place in the group.
With several players still injured, Carlo Ancelotti has opted for his best available starting lineup, with Daniel Carvajal taking responsibility of the captain’s armband at right-back. He will be aided by Ferland Mendy, who starts on the other side.
Meanwhile, in between them, David Alaba returns to the fold as the starting centre-back, partnering Antonio Rudiger. This duo has the responsibility of screening Andriy Lunin, who continues in goal in Kepa and Thibaut Courtois’ absence.
With both Eduardo Camavinga and Aurelien Tchouameni out, Toni Kroos gets the chance to play as the holding midfielder for two games in a row. Federico Valverde retains his spot, as well, while Dani Ceballos comes in for the injured Luka Modric in central midfield.
Rodrygo will spearhead the team’s frontline as one of the two twin forwards, while Brahim Diaz gets the nod over Joselu. Jude Bellingham is the final, and arguably the most important piece of the puzzle, playing behind the front-two.
Confirmed Madrid XI: Lunin; Carvajal, Rudiger, Alaba, Mendy; Valverde, Kroos, Ceballos; Bellingham; Diaz, Rodrygo