Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema will remain at the club for at least another season, despite speculation surrounding his future.
While Los Blancos have yet to officially announce an extension to his contract, reports suggest that manager Carlo Ancelotti considers the 35-year-old to be integral to the team.
The reigning Ballon d’Or winner was instrumental in dragging Real Madrid through a difficult campaign last season, rarely failing to deliver when called upon.
However, Benzema’s influence seems to have waned this term. Although he notched a memorable hat-trick against Barcelona in the Copa del Rey semi-finals, his goalscoring prowess has been less prominent overall.
Benzema’s struggles in front of goal and a lack of quality backup options have apparently convinced the Real Madrid hierarchy to accelerate plans to sign a new striker in June. According to AS, the club have several targets in their sights.
Top of the list is said to be 21-year-old Portugal sensation Goncalo Ramos, who would be open to playing a supporting role at the Bernabeu. The Benfica striker has bagged 18 goals in 28 league games this season and is under contract until 2026.
Juventus’ Dusan Vlahovic is also rumoured to be in contention, although the Italian club would likely demand at least €70 million for the Serbian hitman.
Real Madrid are also closely monitoring Harry Kane, whose Tottenham Hotspur deal expires next year. The Spurs and England captain has long been linked with a move from north London, and this could finally materialise in the summer.
It remains to be seen whether Los Blancos splash the cash on a major signing in June, or opt for a short-term solution with a view to securing either Erling Haaland or Kylian Mbappe in 2023.