The French striker is reportedly unhappy in Saudi Arabia after having made a free-transfer switch from Real Madrid in the summer. The reigning champions, Al-Ittihad, have been in turmoil all season and the one-time Ballon d’Or winner has been frequently linked with a January exit.
Little in the way of something concrete has materialised, however, with the Saudis unwilling to sanction the departure of one of the Pro League’s most prominent players. That doesn’t mean that there has been a shortage of suitors, however.
On the contrary, the likes of Chelsea, Man Utd and Arsenalhave all reportedly internally discussed whether a move for the veteran forward would be feasible this month. French media has asserted that Chelsea and United have enquired about the 36-year-old.
The side most keen on his signature, however, have actually been his boyhood club Olympique Lyon. But all of Benzema’s suitors are set to be disappointed.
Benzema set to stay
According to David Ornstein of The Athletic, Karim Benzema will not leave Al-Ittihad this month. The journalist has shut down any talk of a potential late move for the former Real Madrid striker.
A January return to Europe had always seemed unlikely as Benzema would have had to take a massive pay cut, which made a deal for Lyon particularly difficult, with the French club not blessed with the same kind of financial means as Premier League sides.
The only realistic way Benzema’s Al-Ittihad misery could have ended would have been for another Saudi side to make a move, but this has now been categorically ruled out by Ornstein.
The Saudi window shuts on Tuesday night, so while European clubs could still launch bids before their windows close on Wednesday and Thursday, a transfer will be even more unlikely as Al-Ittihad would not be able to sign a replacement.