Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema has denied any involvement in an alleged attempted kidnapping of his former agent, Leo D'Souza.
D'Souza filed a lawsuit against the Frenchman earlier this month, saying the striker tried to have him kidnapped after a match between Paris Saint-Germain and Lyon. Benzema has publicly questioned whether it even happened.
According to French outlet Mediapart (h/t the Mirror's Jon Livesey), the agent claims a man he recognised as a friend of Benzema's tried to force him into a van. The man punched him when he refused, and bystanders had to break things up.
Benzema has questioned the allegations on Twitter:
The Mirror provided a translation that read: "A relative of Benzema touches De Souza's arm, it is an abduction. De Souza is beaten up, but he has no days signed off work. De Souza says that Benzema was in the van, an idea dismissed by the investigators. Is this world serious? #Ithastostop #Givemeabreak #toomuch."
The two are reportedly at odds over a sum of £44,000 that was seized at customs at a Moroccan airport. According to Livesey, Mediapart supported Benzema's statement that he was not present when the alleged incident occurred.
It is said to have taken place on October 7, the day PSG beat Lyon 5-0 in Ligue 1.
In 2015 the 30-year-old was alleged to have been a part of a blackmail plot involving France team-mate Mathieu Valbuena. As reported by Goal's Ben Spratt, he has been sidelined from international duty since, but in 2017 a French appeals court supported Benzema's complaint over the police investigation.
Benzema has once again been a regular for Real Madrid this season. He has scored four goals in La Liga but none since the 4-1 win over Leganes on September 1.
The former Lyon man is expected to return to action against Levante on Saturday. Los Blancos have failed to win any of their last four matches across all competitions.