The veteran striker’s move to the Saudi Pro League has turned sour and he has expressed his desire to leave on loan before the January window closes.
AFP cite a source close to the player and claim he was offered the chance to move to another Saudi Arabian club.
Benezema flatly rejected that move as an option and in a meeting that was described as ‘bad tempered’ he informed his current employers ‘he doesn’t feel he is able to give his best because of the current pressure At Ittihad.’
The 36-year-old’s desire to leave will doubtless prompt a number of Premier League clubs, who are all desperate to sign a new centre forward, to register fresh interest.
Arsenal rediscovered their shooting boots in Saturday’s 5-0 win over Crystal Palace and although Mikel Arteta would dearly love to sign a forward, the Gunners have only limited spending power this month.
The north London club were offered the chance to sign the 2022 Ballon d’Or window earlier this month but are instead weighing up the possibility of signing a versatile defender instead.
Jurrien Timber is still working his way back to full fitness following a serious knee injury and with Takehiro Tomiyasu currently on international duty, Arteta feels he is short in defence.
Chelsea, meanwhile, will again be without Christopher Nkunku for tonight’s Carabao Cup semi-final second leg against Middlesbrough.
The Blues will be looking to overturn a 1-0 first leg deficit but will have to do so minus the services of their big-money summer signing, as well as Nicolas Jackson who remains on AFCON duty with Senegal.
Manchester United, meanwhile, are unlikely to make any moves in the window despite their own chronic lack of goals this season.
Former United striker Andy Cole, however, believes his old club should push the boat out to sign the Real Madrid legend.
‘150%,’ Cole told Bet Fred.’I would sign him if it was only for a training session. I was very surprised when he left Real Madrid in the summer, but I understand why it happened.
‘That money he’s earning in Saudi Arabia is generational wealth. It’s for his kids and his kids’ kids. When you’re at that age in your career and you’ve already won four La Liga titles, five Champions League trophies and the Ballon d’Or, I can understand why he went to Saudi.
‘Could he do it in the Premier League at his age? 100% considering the way he looks after himself. If Manchester United have the opportunity to sign him, then they should definitely try and make that happen.’
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