The 35-year-old initially agreed fresh terms on a new one-year deal with Real back in March and was due to sign a deal at the end of this season. However, he then fielded an offer from Saudi Arabia’s Pro League to join new champions Al-Ittihad on a two-year deal that would have been worth €400 million (£346m/$439m).
Spanish newspaper, Marca has reported that Benzema has not told Madrid that he wants to leave and instead, his plan has always been to remain with the Spanish club. The report also claims that the Frenchman never had any intention of leaving the Bernabeu this summer.
Benzema is said to be ‘very grateful’ to Saudi Arabia for the huge contract offered to him, but his preference is to leave Real Madrid on a high note. He also supposedly feels he has unfinished business in Spain’s capital after a below-par season for Real.
Speaking to reporters on Thursday, June 1, over the speculated move to Saudi Arabia, Benzema said;
“What is said comes from the Internet. And the Internet is not reality.”
He will conclude the season with Madrid on Sunday, June 4, as they take on Athletic Club in their last La Liga match.
Ronaldo is also said to be hopeful that other established players will join him in the Middle East. He told reporters;
“If they are coming, big players and big names, young players, old players, they are very welcome because if that happens, the league will improve. Age is not important, but competing players, young players, depend on many factors.”
Benzema’s decision now means Real can again focus on other areas of their squad, which includes finalizing a deal for England star Jude Bellingham.