Connect with us

La Liga

Real Madrid star Benzema one step away from joining Al-Ittihad

Karim Benzema played his last match for Real Madrid on Sunday, with only final details missing before his switch to Saudi Arabian outfit Al-Ittihad.

Carlo Ancelotti’s side fought back to hold Athletic Bilbao to a 1-1 home draw on the final La Liga weekend, courtesy of Benzema’s second-half penalty.

It was the Frenchman’s 354th goal for Los Merengues in all competitions, marking a fitting end to his sensational career in Madrid.

According to Fabrizio Romano, the 35-year-old will continue his career in the Saudi Pro League with Al-Ittihad.

The veteran’s switch to the Middle East is a mere formality after the parties agreed on a two-year contract.

Benzema confirmed last week that he will leave the Santiago Bernabeu after 14 years when his contract runs out at the end of the season.

He will leave Madrid as a free agent to join the newly-crowned Saudi champions, who defeated Cristiano Ronaldo’s Al-Nassr to win the title in 2022/23.

While the Portuguese forward’s future in the Saudi Pro League hangs in the balance, Benzema may not be the only European superstar in the division next season.

In addition to the ex-Lyon man, the Saudis are vying for Lionel Messi’s signature after the Argentine refused to renew his contract with Paris Saint-Germain, and are also keen on landing seven other household European names.

Meanwhile, in Madrid, Los Blancos are close to completing the signing of Kai Havertz from Chelsea to replace their long-serving stalwart.

Despite having a sub-par season at Stamford Bridge, the 23-year-old is on the verge of joining the record-time European champions for a reported fee of £62 million.

Based on Marco Asensio’s tears after being subbed off late against Bilbao on Sunday, Havertz won’t be the only attacking reinforcement in Madrid this summer.

With the Spaniard set to leave the Spanish capital after nine years, Madrid must acquire another frontman to address the shortage of numbers in the attacking department.

More in La Liga