Karim Benzema has been one of the most consistent performers in European football over the past couple of years.
Ever since the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo, the Frenchman has come to the fore and has led the line responsibly for Real Madrid. His performances were critical in helping Los Blancos secure the UEFA Champions League title last season.
In light of Benzema’s consistent goalscoring plaudits, Real Madrid are keen on extending his current contract that expires at the end of the season.
This has been reported by Fabrizio Romano, who suggests the European champions are expecting Benzema to secure the 2022 edition of the Ballon d’Or. As such, they are keen on celebrating his victory by handing him a new contract.
Although Benzema’s performances merit him a longer contract, Real Madrid have a strict one-year policy for players past the age of 30. The Frenchman should be no exception, especially ahead of a 2023 summer window that could see the club invest in a new goalscorer.
Kylian Mbappe was heavily linked with a move to Santiago Bernabeu in the summer, but the attacker opted to remain at Paris Saint-Germain. It appears Erling Haaland has become the latest obsession for Los Blancos, with the Man City starlet reportedly having a release clause worth €200 million embedded in his contract.
The release clause can be triggered from 2024 onwards, which checks out well with the length of Benzema’s potential new contract.
In the meantime, the veteran forward will be keen on getting back on track after returning from a short injury layoff. He made his return in the 1-1 draw with Osasuna. Although the 34-year-old failed to find the back of the net, he could be in the thick of things when Real Madrid take on Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League tonight.
Key Real Madrid defender still not 100% fit ahead of Club World Cup semi-final – report
Carlo Ancelotti heads into the FIFA Club World Cup in a pressure cooker situation. The pressure on the manager’s shoulders is immense, for his job could be on the line after Real Madrid’s poor run of form.
The injury situation does not favour the Italian tactician either. Lucas Vazquez, Ferland Mendy, Karim Benzema, Eder Militao and even Thibaut Courtois are out of the semi-final against Al Ahly, leaving him very few options to play with.
According to reports from Jorge C Picon, David Alaba too is not completely fit yet. The Austrian International was given the medical all-clear and entered the squad for Real Madrid’s game against Mallorca, yet started on the bench as he was not at 100%, and that remains the case ahead of tonight’s clash.
The report, however, adds that his mere inclusion in the squad comes as a breather for Ancelotti. Alaba is highly valued by the technical staff, not only for his reading of the game on the field but also for his leadership.
The defender has already missed seven games for Los Blancos since sustaining a muscular injury against Villarreal at La Ceramica. He did indeed come off the bench for under half an hour against Mallorca, but will likely not be risked to start on Thursday.
In his absence, Nacho Fernandez and Antonio Rudiger are expected to take centre stage in defence in Morocco. Eduardo Camavinga, meanwhile, could start as left-back again.
Alaba has played 17 games for Los Blancos this season and was one of the players with the most minutes until his injury. In his league campaign so far, he has scored one goal and provided three assists while also averaging a key pass every ninety minutes.
It remains to be seen if the Austrian recovers completely in time for the Club World Cup final should the European Champions make it. As it stands, using a cautious approach is in Real Madrid’s best interest.