There comes a point in every athlete's career when it's time for new beginnings. Forgotten pasts and upcoming memories. That time may be now for Karim Benzema.
While Olympique Lyonnais are heading for their eighth straight Ligue 1 title, they may have to do it without the aid of their star striker.
He was expected to leave Les Gones at the end of the season, but it may come sooner, with the January transfer window just around the corner and the Frenchman discussing a future that doesn't include Lyon.
The 20-year-old currently leads all goal scorers in France with nine in 14 league matches. He's been a consistent scorer in Ligue 1 since his 24-goal campaign in 2006-2007.
He runs with great long strides, has a powerful shot, a tremendous eye for goal, and can play on either wing, as well as up front. It's no surprise that he's drawn comparisons to Cristiano Ronaldo, the FIFA pro World Player of the Year.
Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas has already put up a €100 million release clause in Benzema's contract, which expires in 2013. The bidding wars may be upcoming soon.
Look no further than the clubs this prospect wants to play for, which, he also claims, have an interest in his services.
"There are a lot of clubs, Barca, Real, but also Manchester United, Milan. They are all big clubs you dream about." he said.
"I like Spain, but Manchester, Milan, you progress so much there. I want to progress at the highest level to be among the world's best."
Benzema was linked with a move to Manchester United last season after scoring more than 30 goals in all competitions. The move didn't happen, but the transfer talks haven't quieted down.
AC Milan's managing director Adriano Galliani has expressed high opinions of Benzema, but has also stated that the price is too high.
Samuel Eto'o has entered the conversation even, claiming that Benzema belongs at a club like Barcelona.
"Barca are the biggest club in the world and the biggest club in the world need the best players in the world," Eto'o said. "Benzema is in that category at the moment."
With a number of Ligue 1 trophies already on his resume, including four league titles and a player of the year award, there may not be any more accomplishments for Benzema to achieve in France.
He has done it all with Lyon, so to speak. It may be time for new challenges in a better league.
Where ever he goes, he will surely have an impact for his club.
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