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Chelsea target Karim Benzema ‘wanted by former club in emotional reunion just seven months after Saudi transfer’

KARIM BENZEMA is being linked with a return to Lyon, just seven months after moving to Saudi Arabia.

The Real Madrid icon, 36, joined Saudi champions Al-Ittihad last summer after 14 years at the Bernabeu.

Karim Benzema is already being linked with a move back to Europe

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Karim Benzema is already being linked with a move back to EuropeCredit: Getty

He penned a lucrative £85.9million-a-season deal with the Middle Eastern outfit, repaying them with 15 goals in 24 games.

Yet despite an impressive return in front of goal, Al-Ittihad are languishing in seventh place in the Saudi Pro League.

And speculation over his future has already begun in the January window, with Chelsea heavily linked to a move for the French striker – who has a contract with Al-Ittihad until 2026.

Now RMC Sport are reporting Lyon would like for Benzema to return to the club he left in 2009.

He scored 66 goals in 148 games for the Ligue 1 side during his first stint, winning four league titles in the process.

However, it is understood getting a deal done for the 2022 Ballon d’Or winner remains “very complicated”.

Lyon also cannot match the huge salary Al-Ittihad are paying him.

Their interest in Benzema comes just 48 hours after reports emerged claiming Al-Ittihad bosses were furious at the striker for returning to training 17 DAYS late.

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He only turned up for training on Thursday – a long while after he was reportedly due to return from the mid-season break.

There will now be internal discussions between Al-Ittihad chiefs regarding his future at the club.

Benzema is being linked with a swift Saudi exit just days after Jordan Henderson left Al-Ettifaq for Ajax.

And a number of other ex-European-based players could leave the Middle East before the end of the month as the heat, lack of fans and social factors all contribute to stars seeking a way out.

Liverpool legend Roberto Firmino and former Celtic man Jota are both potential departures from Al-Ahli and Al-Ittihad.

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