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Benzema, Messi Reportedly Set For Saudi Moves


(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – Karim Benzema and Lionel Messi are expected to move to Saudi Arabia, reports said on Sunday after the ex-France attacker’s departure from Real Madrid was confirmed.

Saudi state television channel Al-Ekhbariya claimed 35-year-old Benzema had signed with Jeddah-based Al-Ittihad.

Senior officials from Al Hilal have flown to France to try and seal a deal for Messi after the 35-year-old played his last game for Paris Saint-Germain on Saturday.

The Saudi delegation plans to meet Messi’s father and agent, Jorge, with the aim of completing the signing as soon as possible, sources told AFP on Sunday.

Messi arrived in Paris two seasons ago from Barcelona but was unable to help PSG win an elusive Champions League title, as the club suffered last-16 defeats in both campaigns with the Argentine maestro.

Benzema and Messi are in line to join Cristiano Ronaldo in the Gulf kingdom after the Portugal attacker moved to Al Nassr from Manchester United following last year’s World Cup.

According to Al-Ekhbariya, the president of Saudi champions Al-Ittihad and his deputy were in the Spanish capital “to officially sign” Benzema in a “record transfer with Real Madrid”.

The broadcaster said Benzema had agreed a two-year deal with the club, based on the Red Sea shores of the Gulf kingdom.

Benzema scored a penalty in his final Madrid game as they drew 1-1 with Athletic Bilbao on Sunday.

Over the past week, Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti — as well as Benzema himself — had said the striker would not leave his contract at Santiago Bernabeu early, with one year left of it to run.

Benzema lifted five Champions Leagues, four La Liga titles and three Copas del Rey with Madrid and is the holder of the Ballon d’Or for the world’s best player.

AFP

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