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United's Benzema link cools

13 Jun 2009 - 12:41:44

Lyon director Bernard Lacombe insists Manchester United target Karim Benzema will still be at the Stade Gerland next season.

The 21-year-old striker has been spoken of as a possible replacement for Cristiano Ronaldo at Old Trafford, if the Portugal international completes his anticipated £80million switch to Real Madrid.

Internazionale and Real Madrid have also been linked with Benzema, but Lacombe told le Dauphine Libere: "The fax is not overheating.

"Even if you should never say never in football, there is a lot of noise about nothing at this moment.

"The idea is still to keep Karim for another season."

Benzema's agent, Karim Djaziri, added: "Lyon don't need liquid assets and Karim wants to stay until the 2010 World Cup. On our part a departure is not on the agenda."

A product of Lyon's youth academy, Benzema scored 24 goals in 37 games for the club in the 2006-07 campaign.

He scored on his first appearance for France in March 2007 - a 1-0 friendly victory against Austria.


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