Cristiano Ronaldo could decide Karim Benzema transfer as Arsenal and Chelsea dealt blow

Al-Ittihad striker Karim Benzema has been linked with Arsenal and Chelsea during the January transfer window but could reportedly join Cristiano Ronaldo at Al-Nassr
Al-Ittihad striker Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo of Al-Nassr

Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo could be reunited during the January transfer window. The former Real Madrid striker has been consistently linked with a move away from Al-Ittihad this month.

Arsenal and Chelsea are among the clubs to have been touted with a move for the 36-year-old. Benzema’s future at Al-Ittihad has been in question after reports that manager Marcelo Gallardo had frozen him out of the squad for failing to attend a mid-season training camp.

Spanish outlet Marca recently claimed that the Gunners had spoken to Benzema’s entourage. At the same time, L’Equipe stated Chelsea and Manchester United have also ‘tested the waters’ for the France international. Despite reported Premier League interest, the forward could move to a different team within Saudi Arabia.

L’Equipe has stated that ‘discussions are underway’ for Benzema to join an unnamed club in Riyadh. Two clubs in Saudi Arabia’s capital are owned by the Public Investment Fund: Al-Hilal and Al-Nassr.

The report claims that joining a new Pro League team is seen as the ‘preferred route’, though the Al-Ittihad hierarchy has yet to agree to a move. A move to Al-Nassr would see Benzema link up with former Real Madrid teammate Ronaldo. The pair played together for Los Blancos for nine years, twice winning La Liga and lifting four Champions League trophies.

Benzema has previously shut down suggestions that he is looking to leave Al-Ittihad. “It’s completely false!” he said last week. “The French media don’t know what to invent any more. The bigger the better.”

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