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Real Madrid: Benzema deal and then Haaland

With Benzema until 2024, Madrid could then go for Haaland. Mbappé is less likely to happen.

Real Madrid: Benzema deal and then Haaland
Baptiste FernandezGetty

The Ballon d’Or does not guarantee Karim Benzema another year with Real Madrid but, like Luka Modric and Toni Kroos, the club will respect his decision. With the Frenchman around until 2024, Madrid could then go for Erling Haaland. Kylian Mbappé is not currently in the running.

Benzema was the big winner at the Ballon d’Or gala. Winner of football’s highest individual trophy, he stole the spotlight. At 34 (he turns 35 on 17 December), he has reached his peak. He has won everything at club and individual level, and the World Cup in Qatar awaits him. Regarding his future at Real Madrid, his renewal is still pending although, as with Modric and Kroos, the club has already decided to respect his decision. If he wants to continue, he will and Madrid will renew him for another year, as there is no clause in his contract that guarantees him an extra year for winning the Ballon d’Or.

Haaland kept Madrid option open

The club believes so much in the Frenchman’s good form that they dismissed the idea of signing Haaland because the Norwegian had no place in the squad. AS understands the Norwegian wanted to keep the door to Real Madrid open until the last minute and only when he realised that Benzema was the club’s bet, did he look to Guardiola’s City. What’s more, Benzema’s good form also had an impact on Lewandowski. Lewy, like Haaland, was rushing his chances of signing for Madrid. With Benzema, there is no room for another super crack nine.

The latest information that has been published about Haaland’s contract clearly favours Real Madrid’s strategy. These reports state that there is a clause in the Norwegian’s contract that allows him to leave for 180 million euros in the summer of 2024. This clause can only be enforced for foreign clubs and not Premier League clubs. Therefore, Madrid will go ahead with their idea of giving Benzema one more year and then, in 2024, try to sign Haaland. As of today, Mbappé is out of the question.

Top Madrid signing

Benzema last renewed his contract with Los Blancos in the summer of 2021. Real Madrid announced his one-season extension (expiring in 2022) on 20 August. There will be no problems for a new deal to be reached, and it has yet to be negotiated, but he will always sign from year to year, as has happened with Modric and as will happen with Kroos. Benzema was a personal bet of Florentino Pérez. It was he who travelled to convince the striker in person at his home in the Lyon suburb of Bron-Terraillon. It was 2009 and the manager had just returned to the presidency to rebuild the team. The Frenchman was undoubtedly one of his best signings.