Real sign Man Utd target Benzema

LYON: Lyon announced on Wednesday the transfer of Karim Benzema to Real Madrid for 35 million euros in a deal which dashes Manchester United’s attempts to capture the France striker.

In a statement the French club announced that the fee could rise to as much as 41 million euros depending on various bonuses attached to the deal. Lyon said they had accepted Benzema’s decision after he had made it clear he wanted the deal to be “concluded quicker than initially envisaged”. “The club wishes Karim the greatest success with Real Madrid,” the statement added.

Real confirmed the transfer. In a brief statement it said Benzema would sign a six-year contract, but did not indicate the fee. Lyon coach Claude Puel wished Benzema well and believed that he would rise to the occasion, despite some less than inspiring performances when called upon by the French national side especially at Euro 2008 where he clashed with several of the senior players for showing a lack of respect.

The move was sealed after Real agreed to up their original offer from 32 million euros.

This is the fourth signing by Real under the new presidency of “Galacticos” president Florentino Perez, after Brazilian midfielder Kaka, Portuguese winger Cristiano Ronaldo and Spanish defender Raul Albiol.