Karim Benzema Will Remain with Lyon

R LSenior Analyst IMarch 13, 2009

Months of contemplation concerning Karim Benzema's future have concluded. The 21-year-old has assured the public that he will stay with Lyon next season.

Having been linked with a number of Europe's top clubs, the French striker determined that he would make his decision following Les Gones' two meetings with Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League round of 16.

A move seemed inevitable when Sir Alex Ferguson expressed his admiration for Benzema. Manchester United's manager had already proven his interest this time last year when his group took on Lyon in the Champions League.

"He is an excellent footballer," the Old Trafford chief told Le Journal du Dimanche. "He reminds me of (Zinedine) Zidane in the way that he uses his body. He has broad shoulders and a great drive when he has the ball at his feet.''

''You always have to keep an eye on all the best players and how they are developing." he said.

It was uncertain what Benzema would do considering that Barcelona disposed of his team 6-3 on aggregate. There was also the matter of Jean-Michel Aulas' 100 million euro desire in exchange for his star up front.

"I'm going to stay at Lyon," he said, following a Lyon training session on Friday. "I feel really good at OL, I am surrounded by good people and I still have time. I shouldn't have said I would make my decision after Barcelona.

"This decision will not be changed, whether or not we retain the title, whether or not France qualify for the next World Cup.

"At 21, I am still developing, I am going to get better and progress. At Lyon, I play regularly in big matches and I take part in the Champions League."

Now that the good news has been received, Lyon must focus on winning their eighth straight Ligue 1 title with Paris Saint-Germain trailing by a single point in the standings.