Actual Madrid’s Ballon d’Or winner Karim Benzema has signed for Saudi Arabia’s Al Ittihad for 3 years beginning subsequent season, a supply within the Jeddah-based membership advised AFP on Tuesday.
“Benzema has signed a contract for his transfer to Al Ittihad for a three-year period starting next season,” the Saudi membership supply mentioned.
Actual Madrid introduced on Sunday that the 35-year-old was leaving the membership after 14 seasons, the day after coach Carlo Ancelotti had mentioned there was “no doubt” Benzema’s future lay within the Spanish capital.
If the transfer is confirmed, Benzema will be a part of his former Actual Madrid teammate Cristiano Ronaldo within the Gulf kingdom after the five-time world participant of the yr moved to Al Nassr from Manchester United following final yr’s World Cup.
Lionel Messi, who’s leaving Paris Saint-Germain after two seasons, has additionally been linked with a transfer to Saudi Arabia.
Senior officers from one other Saudi Arabian membership, Al Hilal, have flown to France to try to seal a deal for Messi after the 35-year-old Argentinian performed his final recreation for PSG on the weekend, two sources with data of the matter advised AFP on Sunday.
The Saudi delegation plans to satisfy Messi’s father and agent, Jorge, with the aiming of finishing the signing as quickly as doable.
Benzema joined Madrid in 2009 from Ligue 1 aspect Lyon.
He made 648 appearances for Madrid and is second on Actual’s all-time goalscoring record with 354 — solely Ronaldo has extra.
He has lifted 5 Champions Leagues, 4 La Liga titles, and three Copas del Rey with Madrid.
However after a stellar 2021-22 season when he led Actual to Champions League glory and was rewarded with the Ballon d’Or, he was troubled by accidents within the just-completed season and needed to miss France’s World Cup marketing campaign in Qatar final yr with a thigh downside.
Benzema held a goodbye ceremony at Actual’s coaching floor on Tuesday. “It hurts me because I had a dream in my head — to sign for Madrid, and finish at Madrid,” he advised an viewers of his teammates and membership officers.
“But sometimes life gives you other opportunities,” he added.
Saudi Arabia has drawn up an inventory of greater than 10 gamers who’ve received both the Champions League or the World Cup that it needs to lure to its league, a supply near the negotiations has advised AFP.
The record contains Actual Madrid and Croatia midfielder Luka Modric, Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris and his France teammate N’Golo Kante. All are on the tail-end of their careers.
The world’s greatest oil producer has ambitions to host the World Cup in 2030 or 2034 and is betting on the game to assist revamp its austere picture, which has earned accusations from rights teams that it’s “sports washing”.