Karim Benzema received thunderous applause at the Santiago Bernabeu last night as he made his way off the field for the final time as a Real Madrid player. The Frenchman is reportedly on his way to the Middle East and could sign for Al-Ittihad in the coming days.
The party most affected by the player’s decision, undoubtedly, are Real Madrid. With the Ballon d’Or winner no longer in their ranks, the Merengues face a steep crisis in the forward department.
Reports in the last 24 hours place Harry Kane as the favourite to replace the departing legend, and Matt Law confirms the same. The English journalist, however, reveals why the deal will not be easy to pull off.
The English striker may be Los Blancos’ top priority, but Tottenham Hotspurs president Daniel Levy is determined to keep the player in London. He has set a price tag of at least €115 million for the number nine to deter any interest from Spain.
Under ordinary circumstances, the Real Madrid offices would not bat an eye at such a number. The objective to sign Jude Bellingham this summer, however, complicates the situation.
Florentino Perez has reserved close to €100 million already for the young midfield prodigy, and to spend the same amount on a second Galactico signing could create some financial tension. After all, the men in white want to make at least four forward signings this summer.
Reports yesterday claimed that Levy was firm about not selling Kane to direct opposition in the Premier League, placing Real Madrid in an advantageous position. With the Spurs president now tightening the noose, the pressure is on Perez to engineer a workaround.
In 38 Premier League appearances in the 2022-23 edition of the Premier League, Kane scored a whopping 30 goals and provided three assists. Further, he averaged 1.5 key passes per game and created 14 big chances.
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.”