Karim Benzema is giving serious consideration to a shock ‘mega deal’ that would see him ditch Real Madrid, and an exit could see a move for a Liverpool frontman accelerated, per a report.
Benzema, 35, has enjoyed another sparkling campaign at the Bernabeu despite his advancing years. The veteran Frenchman notched 30 goals and six assists in 42 appearances across all competitions this term.
The current Ballon d’Or holder is out of contract on June 30, though the expectation was a one-year extension would be signed.
Real Madrid certainly hope that scenario comes true given their transfer priority this summer is signing Jude Bellingham.
As such, Real hope to put off their search for a top-class Benzema replacement until 2024, at which point they’re expected to push for either Erling Haaland or Kylian Mbappe.
However, according to the Independent, Benzema could be about to torpedo Real’s masterplan.
The newspaper state Benzema has received an eye-watering offer to join Saudi Arabian side, Al-Hilal.
The shock deal would be worth a whopping €100m-a-year if signed. That roughly equates to a salary of £1.65m-per-week.
Benzema is said to be ‘seriously considering’ the proposal and could wind up playing alongside Lionel Messi who is also being targeted by Al-Hilal.
Benzema move to open door for Firmino?
If Benzema does decide to sign up for the Saudi Pro League, the Independent add Real Madrid could ‘hasten a move for Roberto Firmino’.
The Liverpool icon will leave Anfield as a free agent on June 30. He’s understood to be courting interest from some of Europe’s elite including AC Milan, Barcelona and Real Madrid.
Transfer guru Fabrizio Romano recently confirmed the 31-year-old Brazilian is on Real’s radar.
“Roberto Firmino, one of the names considered by Real Madrid — there are no negotiations as of now, just internal discussions about Bobby,” tweeted Romano.
“He’s one of 4/5 options as new striker; different kind of players in the list.”
Benzema leaving would theoretically make Firmino an even more appealing choice for Real chiefs.
Indeed, at 31, he’ll only represent a short-term option. However, that would suit Real to a tee given they have plans to sign either Mbappe or Haaland in 2024 and either player would immediately be installed as first choice.
That means there could be an opening for Firmino to be Real’s starting striker for the 2023/24 campaign.
In Firmino, Real would also avoid having to pay a fee for a frontman who’d be consigned to a bench role after one season as the starter.