Reports circulated by El National suggest that Real Madrid’s French forward Karim Benzema has threatened to leave next summer if the club signs Erling Haaland. The prolific 34-year-old has scored 24 goals in a mere 27 appearances this season for Madrid and finds the club’s open overtures to Haaland offensive.
However, the Catalan outlet reports that the veteran would be 'unwilling' to give up on his real Madrid career. He would only consider quitting the Bernabeu should the young Norwegian arrive, which puts the decision entirely in Madrid’s hands.
With the Borussia Dortmund star known for playing as the focal point of the attack, El Nacional notes that this would work directly against Benzema's intention to continue as the attack leader for Los Blancos.
The Norwegian international would be available for £64 million at the end of the season when a release clause written into his contract becomes active. Potentially signing a player of Haaland’s quality at that price would be a deal too good to pass up.
However, Madrid President Florentino Perez will have the unenviable decision of choosing between the amazing Norwegian and his loyal goal machine. El Nacional reports that Perez can’t afford to lose arguably the best player at the club over the next season, especially with Benzema's strong presence in the dressing room.
Benzema, however, is reportedly very interested in remaining in Madrid. According to El Nacional, the player told Perez he intends to see out his career at the club. However, if Madrid push him to leave, the Frenchman will surely not be short of offers.
El Nacional has recorded interest from PSG, where Kylian Mbappe currently plies his trade. Both Mbappe and Benzema have enjoyed a strong partnership in the final third for France. Although Benzema wants Mbappe to come to Madrid, they could potentially play together at PSG instead.
It's easy to create a connection: PSG ace Mbappe talks fondly about Real Madrid star Karim Benzema
Real Madrid made offers for the PSG star during the summer transfer window, but all their advances were rejected. They're set to make offers again this January, but it would likely be a pre-contract agreement where they can snatch him from the Parisians for free.
Los Blancos have openly courted Mbappe, and Karim Benzema has made it clear that he would be excited to play alongside the star. Recently, Mbappe spoke about his partnership with Benzema, as both have won trophies together with France:
“Benzema? It is very easy to create a connection on the pitch when you are friends."
“We are excited to shine, to help each other and score goals. And it works!”