French striker Benzema—who was recently charged for his role in the ongoing Mathieu Valbuena sex tape/blackmail scandal—left Olympique Lyonnais to join Real in 2009, but things could have been very different.
According to AS [via Le 10 Sport], a year earlier, the striker almost joined Barcelona. The Catalan side were very interested in the player, and contacted OL chairman Jean-Michel Aulas to discuss a €30m transfer.
Ultimately, it was Benzema’s personality which ended the possibility of a move, with Barcelona not convinced that the forward was the right man for them.
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A year later, both Real and Manchester United were keen on the frontman, with the former winning out due to Benzema’s preference for Los Merengues.
The striker played no role in Real’s weekend defeat to Sevilla, which they lost 3-2, leaving Rafael Benitez’s side three points behind fierce rivals and former Benzema suitors Barca, who lead La Liga with 27 points from 11 matches.