Benzema was one of the first global superstars to make the move to the Saudi Pro League last summer, penning a two-year deal worth a reported €100 million-a-year after his contract at Real Madrid expired.
However, despite being earmarked as a marquee arrival for Saudi Arabia’s sporting project, Benzema has already endured problems with discipline and has been axed for Al-Ittihad’s mid-season training camp.
The 36-year-old had reportedly missed training on three occasions last year and his attitude has drawn ire from Al-Ittihad manager Marcelo Gallardo, who has decided that Benzema will not travel to Dubai with the team after failing to report back on time once again.
Despite the apparent issues off the pitch and Al-Ittihad’s underwhelming defence of their Pro League title, with the champions currently sitting seventh, Benzema has still been productive this season, scoring nine times in 15 games.
United one of three teams said to want Benzema transfer
Reports in Spain are now claiming that Benzema is seeking a return to Europe, with Fichajes stating that three teams in particular are looking to make a move for the Frenchman this winter.
Two of the teams are said to include Benzema’s former teams, with Real Madrid ready to ‘welcome’ the return of the striker to boost Carlo Ancelotti’s options up front.
Benzema’s boyhood team Lyon, whom he joined as a ten-year-old and spent 12 years with before joining Real in 2009, are also credited with an interest in the hopes that their former favourite could turn the club’s season around as they battle Ligue 1 relegation.
However, United could perhaps be considered the most intriguing option of the three, with Erik ten Hag said to be hoping Benzema could be a ‘valuable reinforcement’ to strengthen the team and provide competition to Rasmus Hojlund in attack.
A loan move would be the only feasible way for Benzema to move to Old Trafford this month and United will likely be monitoring the veteran’s situation in Saudi Arabia with a view to adding the Ballon d’Or winner to their squad if his departure is sanctioned by Al-Ittihad.