Benzema returns to ‘furious’ Saudi club 17 days late

Benzema returns to 'furious' saudi club 17 days late0

Karim Benzema, a French striker, has returned to Saudi Arabia 17 days after being scheduled to rejoin his team Al-Ittihad, according to a source close to the club.

Club executives were “furious” with the former Real Madrid star’s attitude, but there is no possibility he would terminate his contract this month, despite rumours connecting him to European teams, according to the source.

Benzema, 36, took a three-week vacation during the Saudi Pro League’s midseason break and deleted his Instagram account, which had 76 million followers.

A separate source stated Benzema, who won the Ballon d’Or in 2022 and is reputedly earning 100 million euros ($109 million) every season, was on vacation in Mauritius until Monday.

Benzema arrived on Thursday evening, 17 days late. “He was supposed to return on January 2,” according to a club source.

“We couldn’t contact him for ten days. The club’s administration and coach are outraged over what transpired.

“There will be a meeting with the club board to explain what happened and discuss his future.”

According to the source, Benzema is still captain of Al-Ittihad and has “no option” to quit the club. Some sources have connected him with a transfer to Premier League club Chelsea.

Benzema was one of the biggest names to join the Saudi league last year, with Cristiano Ronaldo, Sadio Mane, Brazilian sensation Neymar, and a slew of other top-tier European players.

One of the high-profile acquisitions, former Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson, left Saudi club Al-Ettifaq on Thursday after just 19 games to join Dutch club Ajax.

Benzema’s team, one of four in the league controlled by the Saudi Public Investment Fund, dropped to seventh place in December following three straight losses, prompting boos from fans.

The Saudi League resumes on February 7.

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