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Karim Benzema signs deal to join Saudi Arabia's Al-Ittihad

Karim Benzema signs deal to join Saudi Arabia's Al-Ittihad

Karim Benzema is set to sign a new deal to join Saudi Arabia's Al-Ittihad.

The forward is free after canceling his one-year extension clause with Spanish club Real Madrid. The Saudi league is also hoping to have Lionel Messi next season.

The news was announced by the well-known journalist Fabrizio Romano, who writes on Twitter:

"Karim Benzema has signed papers to join Saudi Arabian club Al-Ittihad after confirming his departure from Real Madrid."

The Frenchman's contract with the Saudi champions is thought to be for two years, with an option for a further season. Benzema is available on a free transfer after opting out of a one-year extension clause in his contract with Madrid. Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti said on Sunday that the club "can't be happy about his farewell, but we have to respect his decision". Benzema received a huge salary offer to join Al-Ittihad, who beat Cristiano Ronaldo's Al-Nassr to the title last month.

Lionel Messi is also wanted in Saudi Arabia and has been offered more than £350 million a year by Al-Hilal. Barcelona are trying to re-sign the Argentine, who will decide on his future after leaving Paris Saint-Germain. Messi is a tourism ambassador for Saudi Arabia and was suspended by PSG last month after making what the club deemed an unauthorized two-day visit to the country.

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