Soccer-Benzema coy on Real Madrid future: "At the moment I'm in Madrid"

Soccer Football - Real Madrid's Karim Benzema receives the Marca Legend Award - Casino de Madrid, Madrid, Spain - June 1, 2023 Real Madrid's Karim Benzema poses with the Marca Legend award REUTERS/Juan Medina

MADRID (Reuters) - Real Madrid's Karim Benzema was reluctant to talk about his future on Thursday, fuelling speculation he could move to Saudi Arabia in the close season following 14 trophy-laden years.

After the 35-year-old striker was awarded the Marca Legend prize at a ceremony organised by the Spanish sports publication, the Frenchman was asked if he was staying at Real Madrid.

"Saturday I have a game (against Athletic Bilbao), tomorrow I have a training session ... so at the moment I'm in Madrid," Benzema said.

The forward was then asked if he planned to address the Real fans about his future and said: "Why do I have to talk about the future? I am at Real Madrid. The reality is different, not what is said on the internet."

The Ballon d'Or winner looked set to stay in Madrid for another year after a season in which he struggled with injuries and missed out on France's World Cup squad in Qatar.

However, according to widespread media reports Benzema has been offered a deal worth more than 100 million euros ($110.08 million) by Saudi Arabia's Al Ittihad.

His former Real team mate Cristiano Ronaldo signed a 2-1/2 year contract, estimated by media to be worth more than 200 million euros, with Al Nassr in December.

($1 = 0.9084 euros)

(Reporting by Fernando Kallas; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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