Karim Benzema may be staying at Real Madrid after all.
It seems the French striker is ready to sign a new five-year deal.
Madrid-based newspaper Marca claim the ‘untouchable’ 29-year-old has ruled out leaving — even if Monaco’s Kylian Mbappe ends up moving to the Bernabeu.
They say Benzema is still very much a vital part of manager Zinedine Zidane’s system.
There was a suggestion that Real president Florentino Perez believes the time is right to sacrifice Benzema should he bring in his fellow countryman Mbappe.
Added to that the Spanish giants were reported to have alerted Arsenal to the availability of £62million-rated Benzema.
But the fact is Benzema has developed into the spearhead of Los Blancos’ formidable ‘BBC’ strike partnership alongside Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale.
And Marca insist head coach Zinedine Zidane truly rates his fellow Frenchman’s goals and gameplay.
The future of 18-year-old Mbappe remains uncertain but Real are firm favourites to sign him after tabling a world record bid of £160million.
Meanwhile, the French court has lifted the judicial control imposed on Benzema for his alleged involvement in the case of blackmail of fellow French international Mathieu Valbuena.
Benzema was accused of facilitating the blackmail of Valbuena and a sex tape, leading to judicial control being ordered against him in November 2016.
“We are satisfied,” said Benzema’s lawyer Sylvain Cormier to EFE.
“Benzema can now return to enjoying a normal life. We are happy and waiting for his innocence to be recognised.”
In March 2016, the Court of Appeal partially lifted the measure and said that Benzema could resume contact with Valbuena, but he remained unable to meet with the rest of the accused.