Legendary striker Karim Benzema is once again linked to Manchester United and Arsenal, but the Frenchman calls claims that he wants to leave Al Ittihad “completely false.”
In the summer of 2023, Benzema signed a three-year contract worth an estimated £172 million per year to join Al Ittihad from 14-time Champions League winners Real Madrid. However, there have been a number of speculations indicating that Benzema is not happy in Saudi Arabia.
90min recently disclosed that even if the 36-year-old wanted to leave, getting out of the Middle East would be difficult. Leading a number of prominent players from Europe to join the Saudi Pro League, Benzema was viewed as the poster child. Any possible departure would require approval from Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Sport in addition to Marcelo Gallardo, the coach of Al Ittihad, and Roman Planes, the sporting director.
Even though Benzema returned to training late from a vacation in Mauritius, the rumours continued to swirl. 90min further hears that Benzema has not told Al Ittihad that he is dissatisfied and looking for a way out.
On Tuesday, there were reports in France stating that Benzema had asked to leave Al Ittihad on a “temporary” basis. Meanwhile, Benzema’s agent was scheduled to meet with the club’s management on Tuesday after Manchester United and Arsenal showed interest in signing him.
Benzema, who scored 354 goals in a trophy-filled 14 years at Real Madrid, is reportedly being considered by Lyon, his former team, but a possible move to the Premier League has piqued the interest of those hoping to see the Frenchman make an impression in England.
Now, Benzema has taken action to put an end to rumours of a possible departure, telling L’Equipe: “It’s all nonsense! The French media is at a loss for ideas these days. Bigger is preferable.
At Real Madrid, Karim Benzema took home the championship / Quality Sport Images/GettyImages
Jordan Henderson ultimately ended up leaving Al Ettifaq to join Ajax due to Benzema’s enormous salary, which would only make things more complicated. Nevertheless, he would definitely help the Premier League pair as they want to improve their goal-scoring alternatives.
United has only scored 24 goals and is currently eighth in the Premier League standings after losing nine of their previous 21 games. While Marcus Rashford has struggled and Anthony Martial has been nonexistent when it comes to scoring goals, Rasmus Hojlund has shown promising performance in spurts.
Arsenal, on the other hand, is struggling to score goals and is still vying for the Premier League crown. The Gunners’ 5-0 victory over Crystal Palace on Saturday defied the trend, decisively ending their two-game losing streaks to West Ham United and Fulham. However, Gabriel Jesus has only scored three goals in the tournament, while Bukayo Saka leads the team with six goals.
In 15 games, Benzema has tallied nine goals and provided five assists for Al Ittihad; nevertheless, they are way behind the competition for the Saudi Pro League championship. Al Hilal leads the standings without a loss, with a massive 25-point lead over Al Ittihad and ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo’s Al Nassr.