When Real Madrid announced Karim Benzema's departure on Sunday, it was, in a strange way, both unsurprising and shocking. Rumours had been swirling for days that the French forward had accepted a money-spinning offer from Al-Ittihad, and yet it was still a stunning development.
And not just because the current Ballon d'Or holder is set to join former team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo in Saudi Arabia this summer. Benzema has effectively dropped a bombshell on Santiago Bernabeu and left the club's transfer plans in tatters.
The fallout from this particular deal is likely to be colossal, with the potential to significantly alter the shape of the European landscape.