Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema doubles down on Kylian Mbappe transfer claim

Real Madrid star Karim Benzema has doubled down on his desire to play alongside Kylian Mbappe at club level.

The Paris Saint-Germain star will become a free agent next summer when his contract expires.

And a move to Madrid has been heavily tipped with the forward coming out and saying he would like to leave.

Real tried to sign Mbappe in the summer and were confident a deal could be pulled off.

They believed that PSG had been weakened by the Frenchman’s contract stance but that only seemed to increase their resolve.

The latest bid worth €200m (£171.7m) was rejected by the Ligue 1 giants, which paves the way for a free transfer at the end of the season.

And Benzema cannot wait to play alongside his countryman, who has enjoyed being with over the international break.

He said: “I enjoy with him in the national team and in the future, why not?

“He is a great player, but you have to respect PSG. I have always said it and I say it again; I hope we will play some day.”

This is not the first time that Benzema has asked Mbappe to join him at the Bernabeu, when he insisted that it was “only a matter of time” earlier this month.

He said: “[Mbappe] said it himself. He wants to see something else. Someday he will play for Real Madrid.

“I don’t know when. But he will come. It is only a matter of time.”

Mbappe will be free to speak to foreign clubs from January with Madrid at the front of the queue.

However, PSG have not given up hope that he will remain with them and are desperate to tie him down to a new contract.

Mauricio Pochettino remains adamant that the 22-year-old is going nowhere, despite the club’s decreasing bargaining power.

“Kylian will make the decision that he has to make,” he told El Chiringuito in Spain.

“The club will do everything possible to keep him. PSG can convince him to stay. He could change his mind.”

Lionel Messi was signed by PSG in the summer to give them one of the most electric strike forces in history with Neymar and Mbappe.

But it is yet to click for the Parisians while Pochettino could not believe that he would coach such a trio.

“Leonardo called me and asked me if I would like Messi,” the ex-Tottenham Hotspur boss said. “I asked him ‘is that a real question?’ Honestly, I thought it was a joke.

“Of course, yes. After that, things really started. Once the door opened, I think that he decided to come here.”

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