The Frenchman reportedly agreed to leave Los Blancos for Saudi Pro League giants Al-Ittihad but Ancelotti poured cold water on these claims.

It was on Thursday when the bombshell report from ESPN dropped. After 14 seasons at Real Madrid, Karim Benzema had reportedly decided to leave Santiago Bernabeu in favor of a mega-money move to the Saudi Pro League, following in the footsteps of former teammate Cristiano Ronaldo.

According to the aforementioned report, the Ballon d'Or holder decided to end his time in La Liga to join Al-Ittihad in a two-year deal that would see him pocket a whopping €400 million ($429M). Furthermore, it was claimed that the 35-year-old had communicated this decision to Carlo Ancelotti and club president Florentino Perez ahead of Los Blancos' final game of the season, where he would receive a hero's farewell.

However, his rumored exit – and subsequent move to Saudi Arabia – has been cast in doubt. The player rubbished that story while at the Marca awards ceremony, saying "it's the Internet talking, not reality" when asked about the move to the Middle-East.

And now, Carlo Ancelotti has echoed a similar sentiment, stating that Benzema remains their player and will stay put at the Bernabeu when quizzed on the issue during his pre-match press conference for the upcoming clash with Athletic Club.

"I agree with Karim, internet is NOT the reality. Benzema has one more year of contract with Real Madrid until 2024 and we have NO doubts," the Italian said.

Besides his future, another point of contention surrounding Benzema is his contract. There have been reports claiming that Benzema's deal runs out in 2024, not this summer, due to a clause which was triggered by his Ballon d'Or win. Ancelotti's words appear to confirm this, meaning their talisman forward will not walk away for free this summer.

But does Karim intend on staying with Los Blancos for another year or calling it quits in favor of a move to the Saudi Pro League? According to the Athletic, the Spanish giants expect the striker to leave but are yet to receive official confirmation from him and are awaiting clarity.

In fact, last season's UEFA Champions League winners have begun their search for a replacement, with Ancelotti naming Harry Kane as his preferred target. Meanwhile, Kai Havertz and Romelu Lukaku have also been identified as possible candidates.