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Karim Benzema to Chelsea? David Ornstein reveals truth behind transfer rumours

Robin Bairner
Karim Benzema, 2023/24
© ProShots

Karim Benzema will not be joining Chelsea during the January window, David Ornstein has announced, with the football transfer news expert revealing just why the Blues are not interested in signing the former Real Madrid star.

Benzema is reportedly unsettled in the Saudi Pro League with Al-Ittihad, where his professionalism has been questioned due to a disinterested body language on the field as well as his late return from a recent holiday.

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Consequently, the 2022 Ballon d’Or winner has been linked with a string of Premier League clubs, with Manchester United and Arsenal, as well as Chelsea, associated with the 36-year-old France international forward.

With just a few days remaining in the January transfer window, it appears unlikely that a deal will be concluded for Benzema, with Ornstein revealing the rather surprising reason why Chelsea are not ready to move for him.

Writing in The Athletic, he states: “Reports have linked Chelsea to Karim Benzema, but he is not joining. They plan to avoid costly moves for older players and prioritise emerging elite talent like Cole Palmer and Malo Gusto.”

Chelsea’s finances blocking deals

The statement is unsurprising in that finances are playing a role in blocking the deal. FootballTransfers understands, for example, that Chelsea wanted to move for Antonio Nusa in January but will instead have to watch the 18-year-old Norway winger join Brentford because they cannot afford a deal due to Financial Fair Play (FFP) constraints.

Funding a deal for Benzema, who has lavish wages in Saudi Arabia, would be very complicated.

Karim Benzema, Al-Ittihad
© ProShots – Karim Benzema, Al-Ittihad

The inclusion of Palmer and Gusto in the statement is a little strange, though, given that neither operates in the role that Benzema would fill at Chelsea and would not, therefore, be adversely affected by his arrival at the club.

Chelsea are crying out for a prolific scorer, though. Nicolas Jackson has blown more cold than hot since arriving at the club, with Armando Broja has been misfiring, despite being compared to Harry Kane by manager Mauricio Pochettino.

Benzema would appear the perfect antidote, but according to Ornstein, he is simply one too expensive for Chelsea.

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