Al-Ittihad striker Karim Benzema has reportedly told the Saudi Pro League club he wants to leave.
According to AFP News Agency, the 36-year-old feels under pressure in the Middle East and wants to leave the club at least temporarily.
Benzema was part of the 2023 summer exodus that saw a host of players leave Europe for the Gulf State, enticed by ludicrous salaries.
However, the strategy has not been a complete win for the Saudi League, with several players itching for a return to Europe, including Benzema.
Multiple European clubs have Benzema, who has bagged 12 goals and five assists in 20 appearances for Al-Ittihad, on their transfer radar.
They include Arsenal, who need to add firepower to their frontline as they look to reinsert themselves in the Premier League title race.
Eddie Nketiah and Gabriel Jesus have been leading the line, but they need a more proficient striker to spearhead their challenge for silverware.
Manchester United have also been linked with a move for the former France international.
The Red Devils are in the market for a striker to provide competition for €75 million summer signing Rasmus Hojlund, with Anthony Martial’s future unclear.
Benzema could be the benchmark for the Dane as he acclimatises to his new environment.
Chelsea are reportedly eyeing Benzema with Nicolas Jackson struggling in front of goal. The Lyon academy graduate could provide short-term cover while allowing the younger striker to find his feet without much pressure.
Despite the interest from the Premier League clubs, Benzema’s massive wages and potential demands from Al-Ittihad could prove a stumbling block, as is the case for his former club, Lyon.
They have reportedly distanced themselves from a move for Benzema, citing his huge salary.
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