- Benzema to leave in the summer
- Has huge offer from Saudi Arabia
- Real pay tribute to a club legend
WHAT HAPPENED? Real have now confirmed that Benzema will be leaving the club at the end of the season, when his contract expires. He has been the subject of a huge offer from Saudi Arabia, and may well head to the country to join the same league Cristiano Ronaldo is currently playing in.
THE BIGGER PICTURE: It was reported earlier this week that Benzema plans to move to Al-Ittihad after they offered him €400m (£346m/$439m) over two years, although he had been tipped to delay the switch and remain at the Bernabeu. Nevertheless, the hints were there, with Benzema planning a press conference to say goodbye to the club's fans.
Real have now confirmed they will put on a farewell ceremony on Tuesday, with president Florentino Perez set to be present. Benzema joined the club in 2009 and is their second-highest goalscorer ever, winning a variety of trophies along the way; he has lifted La Liga four times, and the Champions League on five occasions, while he also won the Ballon d'Or in 2022.
WHAT THEY SAID: In Real's statement, they said: "Real Madrid Football Club and our captain Karim Benzema have agreed to bring his brilliant and unforgettable time as a player at our club to a close. Real Madrid would like to show our gratitude and affection to a player who is already one of our greatest legends.
"Karim Benzema's career at Real Madrid has been a shining example of conduct and professionalism, and he has represented the values of our club. Karim Benzema has earned the right to decide his future. Madridistas and all the fans all over the world alike have enjoyed his magical and unique football, which has made him one of the great icons of our club and one of the great legends of world football."
AND WHAT'S MORE: The statement continued: "Real Madrid is and always will be his home, and we wish him and all his family all the best in this new stage of his life. Next Tuesday 6 June, at 12:00pm (CEST), an institutional act of homage and farewell to Karim Benzema will take place at Real Madrid Sport City, which will be attended by our president, Florentino Perez."
IN THREE PHOTOS:Getty
WHAT NEXT FOR REAL? They have been linked with a swoop to sign Harry Kane from Tottenham, and that may well step up a gear now Benzema has confirmed his exit.