Al-Ittihad striker Karim Benzema has been “offered” to Chelsea and “several” other clubs, according to HITC Football.
The website claims that the France international is increasingly likely to return to Europe before the January transfer window closes.
Benzema is said to be unsettled in Saudi Arabia, having returned to training a number of days late. Manager Marcelo Gallardo has yet to reintegrate him into the first-team squad and there is a feeling that the player could be loaned out this month.
Chelsea could certainly do with a player of Benzema’s reputation. The 36-year-old has scored 432 goals in his professional career.
Salary demands could scupper Chelsea’s chances
Benzema is currently earning a staggering £1.6m a week, and the player would either have to take a significant pay cut in order to secure a move away from Saudi Arabia, or Al-Ittithad would have to agree to subsidise his wages.
Considering Chelsea’s highest earner, Raheem Sterling, is on just a fifth of Benzema’s current salary, you would have to say it would be a tall order for the Blues, or other interested teams such as Arsenal, to find a compromise.
A lot will depend on the goodwill of Al-Ittihad, and that is not something that can be guaranteed. The Saudi Arabian Pro League side would prefer to keep Benzema as he was their marquee summer signing but they may have to reluctantly let him leave if he is unhappy.
Benzema is keen on joining one of his former clubs
Mauricio Pochettino’s side are not the favourites to secure the forward’s services if Al-Ittihad do decide to loan him out ahead of the transfer deadline on Thursday week.
HITC report that Benzema’s first club Lyon are already in “talks” and the player “would love” to return to the Ligue One side if the opportunity arises.