Karim Benzema return would be fantastic for Lyon – Rudi Garcia

Robin Bairner
Robin Bairner Updated: 19 May 2021 15:43 BST 2 min read
Karim Benzema return would be fantastic for Lyon – Rudi Garcia

Lyon would welcome Karim Benzema back to the club with open arms, head coach Rudi Garcia has stated.

Benzema is one of Lyon’s greatest players of the last 20 years but departed in 2009 to Real Madrid in a €35 million deal that was a record at the time.

The France international has since excelled himself at the Bernabeu, helping Los Blancos to four Champions League crowns during his stay.

Benzema has often been linked with a possible switch back to his hometown club, where he came through the academy, and Garcia admits it is something he would love to happen.

“A return for Karim Benzema? It would be fantastic for the club if he was to come back,” Garcia agreed during a press conference.

Benzema remains an avid fan of OL and prior to Sunday’s 5-0 derby victory, he sent a message to striker Tino Kadewere offering his support.

“I’m happy that he encouraged Tino before the derby,” Garcia added. “I thought it was a super message.”

Benzema’s support clearly did not harm the Zimbabwe international forward, who continued his excellent form by netting twice in the win.

‘Benzema really wants Lyon return’

The topic of his return to France was broached after Benzema’s former agent indicated that it is a move that the player wants to see come to fruition.

“Will Karim Benzema return to Lyon from Real Madrid? Yes, I think it’ll happen,” Karim Djaziri told Inside Gones. “He speaks to me regularly and he watches all the matches. And he’s not yet visited the Groupama Stadium.

“In his mind, it’s something that he really wants. Lyon is in his heart.”

Lyon continue to challenge PSG for the Ligue 1 title, although they are presently third in the standings, two points behind the defending champions and Lille.

OL’s hopes of re-signing Benzema likely hinge on the player agreeing a dramatic reduction in salary, as the prudent Rhone side have been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Nevertheless, they ranked in Deloitte’s Money League top 20 for 2020 after reaching the semi-finals of the Champions League.

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