Football News

Kylian Mbappe talks up ‘friendship’ with Karim Benzema amid Real Madrid links

By Ben Green

Published: 17:34, 16 December 2021

Kylian Mbappe believes he works so well with Karim Benzema for France because of his blossoming, off-the-pitch friendship with the Real Madrid forward.

The 22-year-old World Cup winner has been heavily linked with a move to the Bernabeu in the summer when his contract with Paris Saint-Germain expires, and comments like his latest will only fan the flames of that possibility becoming a reality.

Los Blancos attempted to fast-track the process in the summer just gone but saw their advances rejected by the Parisians, who now face the prospect of losing one of football’s best current stars for nothing at the end of the campaign.

Mbappe, who joined PSG permanently from Monaco for £163m in 2018, becoming the second-most expensive player in the history of the sport after current team-mate Neymar (who joined for £198m from Barcelona in 2017), can sign a pre-contract agreement with foreign clubs from January 1.

It could make for an interesting January transfer window, with PSG no doubt desperate to avoid losing their most-cherished asset for free come July, which may tempt them to cash in for a reduced fee next month if Real stump up a reasonable figure.

With the prospect of a pre-contract agreement materialising in just a few weeks, Mbappe has been adding fuel to the fire by talking up his relationship with Benzema, whom he stars alongside at international level under Didier Deschamps.

“It’s a lot easier to create a connection with someone on the field when you’re friends,” Mbappe told Paris Match magazine.

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“You both want to do well, to help each other and to score goals. It just works better that way.”

The prospect of Mbappe and Benzema linking up is certainly a tantalising one. The former is currently joint-third in the assist charts this season across Europe’s top five leagues, setting his team-mates up on eight occasions, while Benzema ranks joint-fourth, with a tally of seven.

Such selfless play and an obvious playmaker instinct suggests they would flourish in tandem, having already created an on-pitch understanding at international level for France. Whether the two Bleus link up at club level, though, remains to be seen.

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