Chelsea have ruled out a move to sign Karim Benzema this month despite the forward’s desire to leave Al-Ittihad.
Benzema is keen to quit the Saudi side after just six months in the Middle East, having failed to settle since his arrival from Real Madrid in the summer.
The Frenchman has scored 15 goals in 24 games for Al-Ittihad, though the Saudi champions have struggled for form and sit seventh in the Pro League table.
Benzema signed for Al-Ittihad after a decorated career at Real Madrid, in which the forward won five Champions League trophies and scored 346 goals, the second-highest total in the Spanish side’s history.
A reported fall-out with management at Al-Ittihad has led to speculation surrounding an exit, however, with several Premier League clubs linked with signing the 2022 Ballon d’Or winner.
Chelsea have been open to signing a centre-forward this month, though will not pursue a deal for Benzema before Thursday’s transfer deadline. The Athletic are reporting that the Blues will continue their focus on emerging talent, with the 36-year-old the wrong profile for the club’s recruitment plan.
Chelsea continue to be linked with signing Jhon Duran from Aston Villa and view the Colombian as a player of ‘vast potential’. Duran has failed to establish himself at Villa Park amid competition from Ollie Watkins and could be allowed to depart should a suitable offer arrive.
See more – FA Cup fourth round: Five things we learned