Karim Benzema amd Lyon chairman, Jean-Michel Aulas, have opened the floodgates for rumours linking the player away from the club. While both insist he should remain with Lyon, they have both left the option of a summer exit open.

When there is talk of Cristiano Ronaldo leaving the club, a popular response is to claim Benzema is the player we should by with Ronnie’s transfer money. I beg to differ.

“I am 21 years old and I will have time to play for another club,” said Benzema. “The clubs are going to carry on calling, everyone is looking for forwards. But I am fine at Lyon. If there is a huge offer and the chairman tells me I have to go, I would probably leave. But I will not go and see him to ask to leave.”

These sentiments were echoed by Aulas.

“He said he wants to stay,” he said. “I don’t want to sell. So he is here at 99 per cent. However, Kaka should have not left Milan and he will join Real Madrid. We have entered spiral madness. Anyway I am relaxed. I won’t say Karim is untransferable.”

However, if we’re going to spend a ridiculous sum of money on someone, it should be because we entire to see them here for the majority, if not the rest of their career. Wayne Rooney and Rio Ferdinand cost us an arm and leg but it was because regardless of their childhood support, Manchester United was the club for them. The club that meant they had made it. Foreign players don’t necessarily regard us in the same way though, and Benzema is a prime example of this.

June 10th 2008
“I like Real Madrid, but I think that I’m still too young to sign for a club like that,” Benzema said. “I think that I need to get more experience and I’d like to help Lyon be a European champion. Then, in the future, we’ll see what happens.”

November 4th 2008
“My future? I like Spain,” said Benzema. “Next year I will play for Barca or Madrid.”

December 23rd 2008
“For me, Madrid is a dream,” Benzema said. “They are a club I have liked since I was small. But there are many clubs in which I would also like to play. Real Madrid is a great team and I have always said that I would like to play there because they have been my team since I was young. Besides, before I only liked Spanish football and that was all I watched. The English and Italian leagues are great, but there are more goals scored in Spain and that is where the best football is played. It is a good country for football and there are some big clubs there.”

There have been occasions where he has also said he would be interested in a move to United but then I imagine he wants to keep his options open to any big club who were interested. I’m sure he would love to play for us and he would probably do very well, but that doesn’t change his hopes for where he ends up. Real Madrid are the club he wants to play for so why bring in a player we know has dreams of going elsewhere? We’ve been through all this fuss with Ronaldo summer after summer so I can’t imagine why anyone would willingly go through it all again. It’s exhausting and frustrating and Benzema would do it to us too.

I only hope the manager sees it this way too, despite being a fan of the young forward!