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Real Madrid duo Karim Benzema and Luka Modric have reportedly rejected the chance to potentially join Zinedine Zidane at Juventus.
El Nacional reports that Juve will not continue with Massimiliano Allegri next season. Zidane is currently on a sabbatical after leaving Madrid in 2021 but is said to be enticed by the prospect of becoming the Old Lady’s new boss.
If he were to arrive at the Allianz Stadium he would ideally have liked to have taken two of his former Real Madrid players with him. The first of which is Benzema, 35, whose contract with Los Blancos expires in June. The French forward flourished under Zidane, scoring 108 goals in 217 games across competitions.
Benzema’s continuity with Madrid is in doubt amid his contract expiring, his age and fitness issues. The Frenchman has also reportedly received an astronomical contract offer from an unnamed Saudi Pro League club.
Zidane already knows that Benzema is not interested in a move to Juve. If the striker is to leave Los Merengues and remain in Europe it will either be in Ligue 1 or the Premier League.
Meanwhile, Modric’s contract with Real Madrid also expires in June. The Croatian midfielder has been a mainstay in Los Blancos’ side since arriving in 2012. He made 51 appearances this season, scoring six goals and providing as many assists.
The report claims that Modric, 37, has also said no to a move to the Old Lady and he is mooted for a move to the Saudi Pro League. The expected arrival of Jude Bellingham from Borussia Dortmund has thrown his future at the Santiago Bernabeu into doubt.
If Zidane does become Allegri’s successor it’s clear that his former players aren’t seduced by the idea of joining the Serie A club. They will not be playing Champions League football next season after they were hit by a 10-point deduction.
Zidane labeled Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema as the greatest striker in French football history
Benzema won the 2022 Ballon d’Or after a superb 2021-22 campaign with Real Madrid. The Frenchman scored 44 goals in 46 games, finishing as top scorer in La Liga and the Champions League.
The veteran striker also captained Los Blancos to the Spanish league title and the Champions League trophy. It was a remarkable campaign from the forward and Zidane lauded him following his Ballon d’Or triumph. He said when asked if Benzema was the best forward in French history (via CNN):
“For me, yes. In addition to what he does, what he shows, he has been at Real Madrid for a long time. More than 500 games, all the goals he’s scored, his record speaks for itself. For me, he’s the best. It is very clear.”
France have had many legendary strikers including Eric Cantona, Thierry Henry and Jean-Pierre Papin. However, Benzema perhaps sits atop the pinnacle of French football due to his consistency at the top level.