Karim Benzema agrees to Real Madrid contract extension

Ballon d’Or winner Karim Benzema ‘verbally agrees to Real Madrid contract extension’… to the disappointment of potential suitors including Manchester United

  • The Frenchman has been at the club since 2009 and will stay an additional year
  • Manchester United are believed to have been considering the former free agent
  • Pursuit of Spurs’ Harry Kane will be United’s primary focus in striker market 

Karim Benzema has handed potential suitors a blow with the news that he will be staying at Real Madrid until 2024, having agreed a contract extension with the Spanish giants. 

The Ballon d’Or winner, who has been at Los Blancos since 2009 and who would have been out of contract in the summer, is reported to have ‘verbally agreed’ the extension ahead of Wednesday evening’s Champions League clash with Liverpool, as per L’Equipe. 

Benzema has been a stalwart for the club since arriving in the Spanish capital from Lyon fourteen years ago, but his career was further burnished after Cristiano Ronaldo’s €116m transfer to Juventus in 2018. 

The Frenchman, who returned to his national side in 2021 after a six-year absence, has made 632 appearances for his club across all competitions, scoring 341 goals. 

A sensational season in 2021/22 – capped with a historic 14th Champions League win against Liverpool at the Stade de France – made Benzema the fifth French player to win the Ballon d’Or. 

Karim Benzema is set to continue his storied career at Spanish giants Real Madrid

The Frenchman is the current holder of the prestigious Ballon d’Or award

Whilst his continuation at Real Madrid may come as no surprise to some, clubs that had been tracking Benzema’s dwindling contract will be disappointed they are no longer able to snap up a player of his quality for free. 

Erik ten Hag’s Manchester United were rumoured to be interested in last season’s Champions League top scorer,  as they continue to look for the right man to lead the line following Ronaldo’s ignominious exit in the January transfer window. 

Wout Weghourst, who has scored twice for the Red Devils since his loan move in the same window, is not viewed by the club as a long-term option. 

It was believed the Manchester club’s efforts will now shift to their pursuit of Harry Kane. 

The England captain Harry Kane will likely be Manchester United’s main target for a striker

The Tottenham striker was tracked closely by cross-town rivals Manchester City in 2021, but he is unlikely to be considered again by the club after the Abu Dhabi-backed club plumped for the high-scoring Erling Haaland in the summer of 2022. 

Spurs’ chairman Daniel Levy is purportedly against selling to a Premier League rival, and recent reports have signaled that United may be ‘cautious’ about trying to pin down Kane because of an unwillingness to deal with the executive. 

But in a FIVE podcast appearance on Monday, United legend Rio Ferdinand urged his former club to stay the course with the England captain, as he believes Kane could take the ‘chance’ of winning silverware at Old Trafford. 

For their part, Spurs are thought to have begun talks to convince the striker to stay, despite staring down the barrel of another trophyless season in north London.  

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