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Karim Benzema is seriously considering a mega deal from Saudi Arabia to join Al Hilal in a move that could have a major effect on the summer transfer market.
While Real Madrid are hopeful the 35-year-old accepts their offer to stay another season before they go big on a striker in 2024, Benzema could earn €100m a year if he goes now.
Al Hilal are currently hopeful of planning for Benzema and Lionel Messi for next season, although those close to both players insist nothing is yet signed.
It all forms part of a wider move to make the Saudi Pro League the most attractive for the game’s megastars as they go into their thirties, as they gradually seek to bring that age down and make it a genuine domestic powerhouse.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s spell at Al Nasr has so far not gone as well on the pitch as had been anticipated, but is seen as hugely influential in changing perceptions.
A number of players who previously rejected offers from Saudi Arabia sought to re-open negotiations once Ronaldo signed.
Madrid have been hopeful of avoiding a move for a striker until next summer, especially since they plan a huge purchase of Borussia Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham this window.
Benzema’s decision may well influence that, though, and potentially hasten a move for Roberto Firmino.
The Brazilian has just left Liverpool as a free agent, and already has interest from rivals Barcelona.
This article was updated 4 months ago