The Karim Benzema era is over! Harry Kane, Roberto Firmino & the nine players Real Madrid could sign to replace star striker


Change is afoot at Real Madrid. The 2022-23 campaign was a disappointing one by Los Blancos' lofty standards, and there will be plenty of ins and outs over the summer as a result.

Karim Benzema's departure has already been confirmed, as Real were ultimately unable to tie him down to a fresh one-year extension. He's following in the footsteps of his former team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo by heading to Saudi Arabia, where he will reportedly pocket €400 million in earnings over the next two years.

It's a shame to see another world-class player turn their back on European football, but no one can begrudge Benzema's decision to chase a huge payday. After signing from Lyon way back in 2009, the French striker contributed 353 goals to Real's cause, winning five Champions Leagues and four La Liga titles along the way. He was also finally able to get his hands on the Ballon d'Or in 2022, and has nothing left to achieve at club level. Benzema has earned the right to sail off into the sunset.

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It's the end of an era in Madrid, though, and Carlo Ancelotti must now bring in someone to plug the gap left by a club icon. Espanyol frontman Joselu, who took in a spell at Real at the start of his career, is reportedly close to rejoining Los Blancos on loan, but he will only be a squad player. The Liga giants will need another forward to cover the loss of Benzema's goals. They cannot afford to stand still and fall even further behind arch-rivals Barcelona, who are set to strengthen again themselves.

Madrid are being linked with several big names already, but who would be the best fit? GOAL takes a look below...