Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas has revealed how the club rejected more money from Manchester United to allow Karim Benzema to join Real Madrid.
Benzema, who turns 32 in December, has been in a rich vein of form over the course of the past 18 months – he netted 30 goals in total last season and already has 14 in just 18 appearances this season.
Of Algerian descent, the frontman has emerged as the most important and in-form player for Madrid since the €100m sale of Cristiano Ronaldo to Juventus in the summer of 2018.
His significance to the current team under Zinedine Zidane is demonstrated by his ever presence in attack and being favoured ahead of €60m summer signing Luka Jovic.
The striker has now spent over a decade at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu since joining from the French club, and has scored 236 goals across 483 appearances.
“When Karim left Lyon, we had two offers: one from Manchester United and one from Real Madrid,” explained Aulas on beIN Sports, as cited by Marca.
“Karim came to see me, that's when the relationships in which there is trust are demonstrated, and he told me: 'My dream is to play at Real Madrid’.
“And in the end he went to Real Madrid for an amount less than we had from Manchester United.”