Karim Benzema, the Real Madrid attacker, will leave the Spanish giants on a free transfer when his contract ends at the end of June.
The 35-year-old was generally expected to sign a new one-year contract extension with Real Madrid, keeping him at the club until the end of the 2023-24 season.
However, there was widespread conjecture at the end of last week that the Frenchman had agreed to leave Real Madrid in order to travel to Saudi Arabia.
Benzema then put an end to the speculation, and Los Blancos head coach Carlo Ancelotti stated during his news conference on Saturday that he expects the striker to stay.
The attacker will leave Real Madrid this summer, with the club confirming in a statement on Sunday morning that his final game will be against Athletic Bilbao in La Liga.
“Real Madrid CF and our captain Karim Benzema have agreed to end his brilliant and unforgettable period as a player for our club,”
read a statement from Real Madrid.
“Real Madrid wants to show its gratitude and all its affection for who is already one of our greatest legends.”
“Real Madrid is and will always be his home, and he wishes him and all his family the best in this new phase of his life.”
Benzema joined Real Madrid from Lyon in July 2009, and he has appeared on 647 occasions for the club, scoring 353 goals and registering 165 assists.
Only Cristiano Ronaldo (450) has more goals for Real Madrid than Benzema, who has had another fruitful season despite some injury issues.
This season, the Frenchman has 30 goals and six assists in 42 appearances across all competitions, and he will look to add to that number against Athletic on Sunday.
Al-Ittihad are reported to be the frontrunners in the hunt to sign Benzema, though an announcement about his new club is not expected until next week at the earliest.
During the 2022-23 season, the forward helped Real Madrid win the UEFA Super Cup, the Club World Cup, and the Copa del Rey, although the squad fell short in both La Liga and the Champions League.
Benzema will depart the Bernabeu having won four La Liga crowns, three Copa del Rey trophies, and five Champions League medals, as well as three Spanish Super Cups, four UEFA Super Cups, and five Club World Cups.
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