Karim Benzema’s rift with Al-Ittihad escalates as striker exits training session and faces squad exclusion

Karim Benzema, the star striker for Al-Ittihad, has found himself in controversy after storming out of a training session, resulting in his exclusion from the squad for an upcoming Saudi Pro League match against Al-Tai.

Manager Marcelo Gallardo instructed Benzema to train alone, an order the striker refused, leading to his abrupt departure from the session.

Karim Benzema is not enjoying himself in Saudi Arabia

Karim Benzema is not enjoying himself in Saudi Arabia

The fallout from this incident has intensified an already strained relationship between the player and the club.

Relations soured when Karim Benzema returned to training 17 days late after the mid-season break, leaving club officials furious.

His delayed return reportedly made it impossible for the club to establish contact with him for a significant period, during which he was on vacation in Mauritius, initially due to a cyclone.

Even after his return, Benzema failed to impress Gallardo and was excluded from the club’s training camp.

Despite being linked to Premier League clubs Manchester United and Chelsea during the January transfer window, Benzema opted to stay at Al-Ittihad.

Talks about his future with the club are ongoing this week, and while the Saudi side wishes for him to stay for another season, Benzema’s sentiments remain unclear.

There were rumors of a potential move back to Lyon in France, but complications, including a substantial wage cut, led to the collapse of the deal. Al-Ittihad sources insist that any bid for Benzema would have been rejected.

What does this mean for Karim Benzema

The striker, earning £86 million per year, reportedly feels unsettled in the Middle East since his move last summer.

The situation adds to the challenges faced by Al-Ittihad, who, despite significant summer investments, have slumped to seventh in the Saudi Pro League standings, a considerable 25 points behind league leaders Al-Hilal.

Benzema’s contributions, alongside signings like N’Golo Kante, Fabinho, and Jota, were expected to elevate the team’s performance.

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