MADRID, June 04 (Agencies): Saudi Arabia's Al Ittihad have reached an agreement with French striker Karim Benzema to sign him on a two-year deal, Saudi state-run Al Ekhbariya television station reported on Sunday.
Benzema is set to join Al Ittihad as a free agent after Real Madrid said earlier in the day that the 35-year-old would leave the LaLiga club after 14 trophy-laden years.
Al Ekhbariya said Al Ittihad's chairman and vice chairman were in Madrid to hammer out a "record deal" with Benzema.
Earlier, Ballon d'Or winner Karim Benzema will leave Real Madrid as a free agent in the after 14 trophy-laden years, the club said on Sunday.
"Karim Benzema's career at Real Madrid has been an example of behavior and professionalism, and has represented the values of our club. Karim Benzema has earned the right to decide his future," the club said.
During the fourteen seasons at Real Madrid, Benzema won 25 titles - a record number for the club. These included 5 Champions League titles, 5 Club World Cups, 4 Super Cups, 4 LaLiga titles, 3 Copas del Rey and 4 Spanish Super Cups.
Benzema joined Real Madrid as a 21-year-old from French club Lyon, where he had also started his professional football career. In his 14 years since, Benzema represented Real in 647 matches (all competitions included), scoring 353 goals. He is also Real Madrid's second all-time top goalscorer in both, the LaLiga and the Champions League. Additionally, Benzema is also the fourth top goalscorer in the Champions League's history, and fourth top-scorer in the history of the domestic league.
The French forward is the current Ballon d'Or and UEFA Player of the Year; he won the former with a whopping 549 votes to his name. He defeated Sadio Mane and Kevin de Bruyne for the prestigious award. Benzema was also included in the FIFA FIFPRO Eleven and winning the Pichichi Trophy 2022.
An "institutional act of tribute and farewell to Karim Benzema" will take place at Real Madrid City, with the presence of the club's president Florentino Pérez.
"Karim Benzema's career at Real Madrid has been an example of behavior and professionalism, and has represented the values of our club. Karim Benzema has earned the right to decide his future," the statement from Real Madrid read further.
"Madridistas and all the fans around the world have enjoyed his magical and unique football, which has made him one of the great myths of our club and one of the great legends of world football."
The French forward joined Madrid in 2009 from Ligue 1 side Lyon.
Benzema established himself as a key player alongside Ronaldo and Gareth Bale in the vaunted "BBC" attacking trident, before developing into the team's leader when the Portuguese striker left in 2018.
Benzema has lifted five Champions Leagues, four La Liga titles and three Copas del Rey with Real Madrid and is the current holder of the Ballon d'Or for the world's best player. He is Real Madrid's second top scorer of all-time, with 353 goals for Madrid, behind only Ronaldo on 450.
Benzema's final appearance for the club could be later Sunday when Madrid host Athletic Bilbao in La Liga at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Madrid confirmed Saturday that Eden Hazard, Marco Asensio and Mariano Diaz are all leaving this summer too, leaving plenty of space for new acquisitions in attack.
Ancelotti avoided talking on Saturday about Madrid's alleged interest in England and Tottenham striker Harry Kane.
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