Karim Benzema plans to renew his contract with Real madrid for a second season until 2024.
The French forward’s contract with Madrid expires on June 30, but various sources at the club and others close to Benzema have told about it. Athletic he will remain at the Santiago Bernabeu for one more season.
Benzema has been Real’s main star ever since Cristiano Ronaldo after for Juventus in 2018, while his relationship with the administration could not be better. The 35-year-old is Real’s second all-time top scorer with 341 goals in 632 games, behind Ronaldo who has scored 450 goals in 438 games.
Some reports in Spain since October claimed Benzema’s contract had been automatically renewed after the forward won the Ballon d’Or for his role in Madrid’s La Liga double last season. But various sources within Madrid denied that proposal Athletic.
Board members have always maintained that there are seven Real players who will expire in June: Benzema, Luka Modric, Toni Kroos, Dani Ceballos, Marco AsensioNacho Fernandez and Mariano Diaz.
Benzema fueled rumors of a potential exit ahead of the Supercopa de Espana final in January when he said: “I’m at Real Madrid. Talking about regeneration is another matter. I enjoy it like any other player who can play for Madrid. We don’t know what happens in football.”
Various sources close to the Madrid dressing room said Benzema had expressed some doubts about a renewal, although this has always been denied by the striker’s entourage.
Last month, Spanish newspaper El Mundo reported that the Saudi Arabian government was preparing a move to bring Benzema, Modric and their former Real team-mate Sergio Ramos to the domestic league after Ronaldo signed for Al Nassr in December.
While the offer was reported to be €60m net over two seasons, those close to Benzema say he never entertained the possibility.
Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti was firm on Benzema’s future when asked about the possibility of signing the striker for next season ahead of the Club World Cup final in February.
“It will be discussed later,” Ancelotti said. “We have to take into account Benzema’s age, but also what he brings. He is one of our nine. He did well at the start of the season and will do well next season.”
Ancelotti was asked about the matter again before the 3-1 win against Real Espanyol on Saturday.
“For me, Karim is a lifelong Real Madrid player,” he said. “I know what will happen next year, but I’m not a magician.
Benzema scored a career-best 44 goals in 46 games in all competitions last season but has struggled at times this campaign, with 18 goals in 27 appearances. He has struggled with injuries and has already missed more games this season than last season (14 compared to 11 last season).
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He also appeared to announce his retirement from France duty after missing World Championship due to injury, but he has scored 37 goals in 97 games for his national team.
But Ancelotti and his coaching staff say the forward’s motivation and dedication are beyond reproach. They argue that he can do little more to take care of himself, even though the human body has its limits.
Last weekend, sources at the club and inside the dressing room said Benzema would stay at Madrid, with one saying they “guaranteed” he would stay there for another year and another saying “he has another year”.
Before Real The Champions League 16. second game against Liverpool on Wednesday, French newspaper L’Equipe reported that Perez and Benzema had verbally agreed on an extension.
Asked about that report, several sources close to Benzema said the renewal could be a given and that the details would be revealed when an official announcement was made.
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(Photo: Getty Images)
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