Jean-Michel Aulas, president of Olympique Lyonnais, has moved to confirm that star forward Karim Benzema will remain with les Gones until after the 2010 World Cup.
Benzema has been the subject of a great deal of transfer speculation over his relatively short senior career and even stated in March that he would remain with Lyon until the end of the 2009-10 season. Whispers regarding his future noticeably died after such an assertion, but Aulas has moved to confirm that there will no transfer activity this summer regarding the 21-year-old.
“I saw his father and agent at the beginning of the week,” the president told Le Progres. “We spoke a lot and it’s true that there are many clubs after him, but only after the World Cup. We interrogated his agent and we are not under the impression that he will leave in the short term.”
Benzema has been linked with a plethora of European juggernauts, including Manchester United, who will be starting to consider life after Cristiano Ronaldo, and Barcelona, who were reputedly hot on the young forward’s tail during the spring. Meanwhile, Inter are reportedly chasing 'Benzinho' as a potential replacement for Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who could move to Barca.
However, Aulas’ recent comments should finally quash any doubts over Benzema’s short-term future.
Robin Bairner, Goal.com