KARIM BENZEMA EYEING RETURN TO EUROPE

2024-01-25 · 2 min read · UEFA Champions League/Soccer
Karim Benzema

Khalid Alhaj/MB Media/Getty Images | Yasser Bakhsh/Getty Images

Former Real Madrid forward, and the second-top scorer in their history, Karim Benzema decided to leap the Santiago Bernabeu to Saudi Arabia this summer and has not enjoyed himself since. The French forward has fallen out with his first coach, before Nuno Espirito Santo was sacked, and failed to turn up for two weeks of preseason training this year, infuriating his paymasters.
Benzema has been linked with a return to European football, with the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea and former club Olympique Lyonnais linked with a move for him. The former have been denied as a destination, while Lyon have just signed Gift Orban, but may be tempted into a glorious return for the 36-year-old. Chelsea is still in search of striker, and a short-term deal could suit both parties.
According to Fabrizio Romano, more meetings will be held this week in order to try and resolve a ‘tense’ situation. Al-Ittihad are not happy with Benzema, understandably, but the overlords in the Saudi Pro League would prefer Benzema to stay in Saudi Arabia, perhaps even suggesting another team for him. If he does return to Europe, then it will be with considerably less money.
Given the tension between Benzema and Al-Ittihad, it seems unlikely that they will be willing to pay much of his enormous salary if he does go on loan somewhere. It may well be that his pay packet keeps him in the Middle East. Saudi Arabia will no doubt be concerned that the departure of Benzema following Jordan Henderson’s exit may send the wrong message to the world, and it would make sense if they tried to mediate the situation.
Sports Tree Profile

By: Aaron Cantin

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