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Saudi Arabia officials wish to finalise Benzema move by Thursday

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Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

Karim Benzema’s stocks at Real Madrid might have only truly risen after Cristiano Ronaldo’s move away from the club. While the Portuguese star may have overshadowed the striker for a long time, the former Lyon star has been one of the team’s most impactful players year after year since his move in 2009.

The nearly 14-year-long association appears to be close to coming to an end ahead of the summer transfer window. An irresistible offer from Saudi Arabia has Benzema seriously contemplating his next step, and he now looks dangerously close to leaving.

According to reports from Di Marzio, the veteran is moving away from Real Madrid with every passing minute. A turnaround, at this point, appears to be a tall ask.

The officials in Saudi Arabia hope to conclude Benzema’s signing as early as Thursday. Their optimism, needless to say, provides a strong indication of how advanced the talks have progressed.

It appears that Sunday’s game against Athletic Club could well be the Frenchman’s final game in the white colours as it stands.

However, it remains to be seen whether an official announcement will be made by the weekend and the administration organise a farewell at Santiago Bernabeu.

Benzema will reportedly have the freedom to choose any club and any city in Saudi Arabia to represent in the league. In addition to the €400 million payslip for two seasons, some of the perks he will have include a complete claim over his image rights and a complete rebate on taxes.

The Frenchman spent the better part of the 2022-23 season struggling with injuries and form. Yet, he currently stands on 18 goals and three assists in 23 games and has been critical in the team’s run in all competitions.

His departure will leave a large void in Ancelotti’s squad, and some of the names suggested to replace him include Harry Kane and Victor Osimhen. However, a cheaper option with a big signing in 2024 now appears more likely.

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Real Madrid News

Benzema talks Vinicius, Mbappe, Ballon d’Or, decision to leave Real Madrid

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Photo by Neville Hopwood/Getty Images

Last Saturday marked a special moment for Real Madrid fans as Karim Benzema, the former captain and Ballon d’Or winner, made his return to Spain. 

This visit was his first in over a year and has generated significant excitement among his supporters. Benzema, now playing for Al Ittihad, was set to participate in a pre-season friendly match against Elche at Estadi Olímpic Camilo Cano.

The Al Ittihad team had been gearing up for the new season by holding training sessions in Benidorm, a well-known Spanish coastal town that is a favourite among tourists. 

This picturesque setting has provided a perfect backdrop for the team’s preparations, blending hard work with the beautiful scenery of the Mediterranean coast.

Benzema’s return to Spain is not just about playing one match. The 36-year-old striker is also set to face two of his old rivals in upcoming games. 

Al Ittihad has scheduled matches against Sevilla on July 26 and Real Betis on August 3. These encounters are highly anticipated, as Benzema has a long history with both clubs from his time in La Liga.

Real Madrid hold a special place

During a recent training session, Benzema took some time to sit down for an interview with MARCA, he shared his thoughts on his return to Spain and his enduring connection to Real Madrid. 

Real Madrid will have a special place in Karim Benzema’s life. (Photo by ANDER GILLENEA/AFP via Getty Images)

Benzema made it clear that, despite moving on to a new chapter in his career, Real Madrid will always hold a special place in his heart.

“[Last season was] spectacular, very good. Real Madrid are always the best team in the world. Players come and go, but Real Madrid will always be at the top, at the very top. It is the best and will continue to prove it,” he began saying.

“Joy. A lot,” said when asked about Madrid’s recent UEFA Champions League triumph. 

“It’s my team and I will always be on the side of Real Madrid and my teammates. It’s logical. Real Madrid is Real Madrid, something unique.”

Decision to leave Real Madrid

The 36-year-old forward left Real Madrid last year and when asked if he regrets he decision, he added,

“Some come and others go. It’s like that and it will always happen. It was the right moment. Of course, I look back and feel happy. 

“Last season they gave a sensation of power, of good football and that’s why they won the Champions League and the League. Today I don’t see any other team that can be better than Real Madrid,” he said.

Furthermore, when asked if there is any team capable of threatening Real Madrid, he said, 

“It’s the best team in the world. It’s always strong and fighting for everything. I stand there, look around and don’t see any team that’s capable of being better.”

Benzema picks Vini Jr for Ballon d’Or

Karim Benzema says Vinicius Jr deserves to win the Ballon d’Or. (Photo by JAVIER SORIANO/AFP via Getty Images)

This year’s race for the Ballon d’Or is going to heat up as multiple players have made the case for themselves. However, Benzema thinks that Vinicius must win the honour.

“Ballon d’Or? I’m going to say Vini because he deserves it for his season and not just for what he’s done this year, but also for what he’s done last year. 

“He was also above the rest with his football and what he does with the ball. He’s a kid, a complete footballer”

Speaking about Vinicius, he added, “He can win a game on his own, of course with the help of his teammates, but he is very good when Real Madrid needs him and that is why I think he deserves it. 

“He is always there and he always shows up. For all of that, my favourite is Vini.”

Benzema’s thoughts on Mbappe

Karim Benzema says Kylian Mbappe was destined for Real Madrid. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images)

The 2023/24 season had no owner of the number 9 shirt at Real Madrid, but Mbappe’s arrival has now fulfilled that. Speaking about his compatriot’s move, Benzema explained,

“Sooner or later he will play for Real Madrid. I have always thought that and that is what has happened. He is a great player.”

Lastly, when asked about Madrid’s dominance and if they can repeat the success of last season, he said, 

“Of course, of course. Really. I just don’t see a team that can be better than Real Madrid. Really. They have everything. Players, coach and president.”

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