During yesterday’s unveiling of Kaka, Real Madrid sporting director, Jorge Valdano, was questioned about the possibility of the Madrid club splurging for another big name this summer, after being linked with Franck Ribery and Karim Benzema, amongst others.
“We do not discard the possibility that in the next few hours, something could happen,” Valdano stated to a packed press room. It looks like he wasn’t kidding.
Just a few weeks removed from the announcement of Madrid’s swoop for Kaka and Cristiano Ronaldo, the La Liga club is once again back in the headlines, splashing the cash and signing up another massive name for next season. That massive name is, of course, Lyon striker Karim Benzema.
Benzema, who wasn’t keen on a summer move until recently, gave his seal of approval to the transfer this afternoon in a move that’s rumoured to be worth £30m (the fee could rise to £35.2m). Lyon were adamant that the striker would only be leaving this summer if a “crazy offer” came their way. It only took Real Madrid a couple of days to come up with the funds for such an offer.
“We needed to make a quick decision and we decided to let Karim go where he wanted,” Lyon coach Claude Puel told reporters.
“It’s an important decision for him with a year to go before the World Cup,” Puel added. “We are losing a high quality player and we know how much Lyon owe him but he needed a new challenge and he is, I believe, strong enough to face it.”
The addition of another offensive threat means Real Madrid are officially the new Galáctico’s. There is still the rumour floating around that Madrid will take Ribery off the market in the coming weeks to end what would be considered the most unbelievable summer haul is football history. You could almost debate it’s the greatest in sports history even without the addition of Ribery.
The move also has implications for other clubs, most notably Manchester United, who were still chasing the striker for his signature this week. Benzema’s move now means Sir Alex Ferguson will have to look elsewhere for a young star to fill the void left by Ronaldo and Tevez.