Rumours of Karim Benzema’s departure from the Saudi Pro League are gaining pace, with Fabrizio Romano admitting that an “impossible” transfer for the Al-Ittihad striker could be on the cards before the end of January.
Arsenal have been closely associated with a move for the France international striker, with Mikel Arteta’s side desperate for the type of firepower that Benzema could bring to them. Chelsea have also been linked with the 36-year-old.
Benzema, the 2022 Ballon d’Or winner, has reportedly been unsettled in Saudi Arabia for weeks, with these claims heightened when the former Real Madrid striker failed to report back to training on time following a mid-season break.
He claimed it was because poor weather had delayed his return from a holiday in Mauritius, yet when he hooked up with the Al-Ittihad squad again, he was training alone.
On Tuesday, RMC reported that Benzema has asked to leave the club, citing claims that he is “feeling under pressure”.
Football transfer news expert Romano admits that this is now a possibility, but did note that both Arsenal and Chelsea face a credible threat from Lyon, the club at which the striker came through the academy.
Karim Benzema transfer latest
“It’s still very tense between Benzema and Al-Ittihad,” Romano reports. “It’s a very special situation because they’re trying to find a solution. There will be a new round of talks between Wednesday and Thursday, so let’s see what happens there.
“Lyon are trying to make the impossible possible. John Textor, the president of the club, is trying to make it happen but it’s very, very complicated because of the financial situation.But Lyon are trying.
“The priority for the Saudi bosses is to keep Benzema in the country. So offering him to another Saudi Pro League club and open another deal. Let’s see how the conversation goes.”
Lyon are very interested in signing Karim Benzema this January.
He’s previously spoken of his desire to return to OL one day but striker had not been a priority for the Ligue 1 strugglers this month. Salary will be an issue, too.
Report from RMC. pic.twitter.com/LJKYjNT3x5
— Robin Bairner (@RBairner) January 22, 2024
Benzema has long been linked with a possible move back to Lyon, but with the Ligue 1 outfit struggling towards the foot of the standings and in financial strife, he would have to make a huge sacrifice to make it happen at this juncture.
Furthermore, it would be a shock move on OL’s part given that the No.9 role is already occupied by Alexandre Lacazette and not one of the areas in which an upgrade is required.