Written By Onyeka Daniel
It has been confirmed that French forward, Karim Benzema will be leaving Spanish giants, Real Madrid this summer as he has already informed the club of the decision with reports that he has been swayed by the huge offer on the table from Saudi Arabia.
Real Madrid in an official statement said that both parties agreed to a mutual termination of Benzema’s contract at the end of this month, meaning that Sunday’s match against Athletic Club will be the Frenchman’s final appearance in the famous white jersey.
During his time at Real Madrid, Benzema won 25 trophies, establishing himself as one of the most successful players in the club’s esteemed history. This included five Champions Leagues, five LaLiga titles and three Copa del Rey crowns.
On Tuesday, Real Madrid will hold an institutional act of homage and farewell to Benzema, with Florentino Perez to be present to pay tribute to the 35-year-old.
Wasting no time, the Los Blancos have started to make move to find a quality replacement for their captain and talisman, but the departure may have come a little early for the club to try and sign Erling Haaland, who has always been the desired replacement.
For his replacement, three names have been put forward for now, Tottenham Hotspur forward, Harry Kane, Chelsea’s Kai Havertz and Eintracht Frankfurt marauding forward, Randal Kolo Muani.
For Kane, there are so many what ifs, even if he would guarantee the most certainty in terms of output and impact that Benzema had at the Santiago Bernabeu and he’s still younger, but Madrid knows just how tough it is to negotiate with Spurs when they signed Luka Modric and Gareth Bale in the past.
While Havertz isn’t really a forward, he has played in that position mainly for the Blues this season. Chelsea would be willing to let him leave for the right price as they look to revamp their squad under Mauricio Pochettino and bring in a proper striker to lead their attack.
For Kolo Muani, he’s the least popular of the trio and would probably cost the least too, but he’s got a great pace and has shown with his performance with Frankfurt that he’s ready for the big stage. Several reports from Germany are indicating that Havertz is the closest of the three.
Manchester City have decided to sell Portuguese defender, Joao Cancelo and have already set a price tag of €40 million for any interested club. Barcelona have been credited with an interested, but it will be hard for them to fork out that sum for the player in the summer, given their financial situation.
Having spent the second half of last season on loan with German side, Bayern Munich, the Bavarians failed to make the move permanent and with the player not having any future with City, at least as long as Pep Guardiola is still in charge.
Another EPL side, Manchester United may look to join the race, but it’s hard seeing City sanctioning the move as they would be directly strengthening a rival, but then, they had no qualms selling Gabriel Jesus to Arsenal.
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