Real Madrid are set to reward Karim Benzema with a fresh deal in order to fend off any interest in his services. The France international joined the European champions from Lyon in the summer of 2009 and has since notched over 180 goals across all competitions.

According to Le Journal du Dimanche, Los Blancos are prepared to extend the stay of their main striker regardless of their pursuit of Kylian Mbappe. The Frenchman was offered a chance to join the Chinese Super League in a £45m annual package earlier in January, but he turned down the approach.

As a result, the club are committed to keeping hold of his services in the long-term with Zinedine Zidane understood to be a huge admirer of his compatriot. Earlier this summer, it had been tipped that Alvaro Morata could take up the centre-forward position at the Bernabeu with Benzema linked with a potential move to long-term admirers Arsenal.

However, Zidane opted to part ways with the former, who was insistent on pursuing regular first-team football ahead of next summer’s World Cup. Benzema has received a lot of stick for his performances from the club’s faithful over the years, but his hold up play up front remains crucial to the way the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale manoeuvre in the forward department.

There has been talk of Mbappe potentially arriving from Monaco, but he could typically compete with Bale, Isco and Marco Asensio for a role on the right side of the attack. Real Madrid secured a Champions League and La Liga double during Zidane’s first full season in charge last term, and they will fancy winning the league at least this season with Barcelona significantly weakened by the exit of Neymar.

Benzema currently has two years left on his previous deal, and the new extension will see his contract extended until the summer of 2021 with the prospect of a decent wage rise.

Image – Getty

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