Karim Benzema is leaving Real Madrid after 14 years (Reuters)
Carlo Ancelotti admits he was surprised by Karim Benzema’s decision to leave Real Madrid and has confirmed the club will sign a new striker this summer.
The 35-year-old played his final game on Sunday and scored the equaliser as Madrid were held to a 1-1 draw by Athletic Bilbao at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Speaking about Benzema’s departure after Madrid’s final game of the La Liga season on Sunday, Ancelotti said: ‘I have trained one of the best in the world. Not only as a forward, as a complete footballer. He is a great person, kind, humble, serious.
‘We cannot be happy, but we must respect him. He earned the right to decide. He has done legendary, unforgettable things.
Carlo Ancelotti says Karim Benzema’s decision to quit Real Madrid came as a surprise (EPA)
‘It was a surprise but it is part of a transition process. We have time to think about what we will do.
‘I spoke to him this morning and he told me he was leaving. I showed him all my respect for everything he has done.’
Harry Kane has now been linked with a move to Real Madrid (Getty)
When asked about a possible replacement with Harry Kane, Chelsea’s Kai Havertz and Espanyol striker Joselu all linked, Ancelotti replied: ‘We want to sign a striker who can score goals and link up well.
‘A striker who plays football well.’
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‘We want to sign a striker who can score goals and link up well.’