Real Madrid star Karim Benzema has dropped a major hint that he may be leaving the club amid talk of a £40.5 million bid from Arsenal [Metro].
The 27-year-old took to Instagram to post a photo of himself apparently in a private jet, with the message ‘Leave the past in the past #rip #directionfuture’.
This takes even more significance as the rest of Los Merengues’ squad are currently together on a pre-season tour of China [Daily Mail], and so it is not immediately apparent what the reason might be for him to be on a private jet alone.
The official Real Madrid twitter feed even posted photos of the team together on a flight to Shanghai around the same time as Benzema made his post. The Frenchman was conspicuously absent from the images.
On our way to Shanghai! @Cristiano @16LucasSilva @jamesdrodriguez #danilo #RMTour2015 pic.twitter.com/CqYaWayxp6
— Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadriden) July 28, 2015
We are in Shanghai! Hala Madrid! #RMTour2015 pic.twitter.com/9u8155Thpl — Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadriden) July 28, 2015
A combination of the player’s message and the context of the photograph will surely fuel transfer speculation concerning his future.
The France international was an unused substitute in Los Blancos’ last friendly match, stoking the transfer rumour fires even further. Talk that new Bernabeu boss Rafael Benitez is planning to use Gareth Bale as a central striker [Daily Mirror] could mean that there is no place for Benzema in the starting XI, which may be the precursor to a move.
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The Gunners are certainly in need of a top class forward if they are going to challenge Chelsea for the Premier League title. There have been doubts over Olivier Giroud’s ability against the best sides [Daily Telegraph], and it remains to be seen whether the French international could lead the line for genuine title contenders.
Benzema is certainly proven at the highest level following his time with Real, and showed his ability with a goal against Manchester City just last week.