Karim Benzema has threatened to leave Real Madrid next summer if the club signs Erling Haaland, according to reports, with the prolific striker said to be unhappy over Florentino Perez’s attempts to bring in a new forward.
The 34-year-old has scored 24 goals in just 27 appearances this season, but Madrid are widely expected to be at the front of the queue in the race to snap up Haaland, when he leaves Borussia Dortmund over the summer.
This is thought to have angered the man he may replace in the No 9 position at the Bernabeu, with El Nacional claiming that the club will have to choose between the two, with Benzema open to walking away from the side.
However, the same report has added that the veteran ace is ‘unwilling’ to give up on his career, and so would be willing to quit should Haaland arrive.
Haaland has the option to move on from Dortmund at the end of the campaign when the £64million release clause written into his contract becomes active, and the club’s CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke has admitted it will be difficult to keep him.
Despite the signing appearing too good to turn down, Madrid chief Perez is braced to have to choose between the Norway man and Benzema, his current first-choice frontman. He is said to have been told by the latter about his stance on leaving.
Indeed, the same outlet have gone as far as saying that Perez can’t ‘afford’ to push his ‘best footballer’ out of the starting XI over the course of the next season, and this dilemma may spell an end in the club’s push for Haaland.
Benzema appears desperate to stay, having also told Perez that his wish is to stay with Madrid. It is believed he feels valued there, and would be willing to see out his contract that, as it stands, will run down in 2023.
In the event that he does look to quit Madrid, though, Paris Saint-Germain are reportedly keen on signing him. Talks between the two clubs have begun, it is said, and an offer from the Ligue 1 giants would tempt the experienced marksman.
Madrid has also been linked with Kylian Mbappe although, intriguingly, this is an addition that would not bother Benzema, El Nacional have added.
Both players have taken to the pitch together on the international stage and share a good understanding. The same publication have pointed out that Mbappe can be fielded out wide, allowing Benzema to remain down the middle.