Real Madrid rule out Benzema sale

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The Independent Football

Real Madrid’s sporting director Miguel Pardeza has ruled out the sale of France international striker Karim Benzema, who has struggled to impress since his arrival at the Santiago Bernabeu.

The 22-year-old has scored ten times in 38 appearances since his arrival from Lyon in the summer of 2009, but continues to be linked with a move away from the Spanish giants.

Pardeza told French TV channel TF1: “Jose Mourinho is generally pleased with Benzema's performances, but he also tells us that he thinks the player can give us much more.

“But we have time, you have to be patient and we continue to back the player. The idea of selling Benzema is not on the agenda. I expect he will triumph at Real Madrid. ”

Meanwhile, Pardeza has admitted that Athletic Bilbao frontman Fernando Llorente could be a future target for Real, but not until next summer at the earliest.

He added in AS: “Llorente is a great striker, who has some rare features. In addition, he has made huge progress in recent years.

“He is an interesting player, clearly, but now we are only concerned with players we do have on the payroll. It is too early to speak of the future.”

Meanwhile, midfielder Pedro Leon has played down talk of a rift between himself and coach Mourinho, having been left out of Real's matchday squad in recent weeks.

The 23-year-old summer recruit from Getafe has struggled to make his mark at the Bernabeu and has not featured since the goalless draw at Levante in late September.

However, Leon told reporters: “Mourinho is in charge and we have no problem between us.

“The reasons why I stayed out of the squad in the last two games were that I did not do what was ordered of me in the match versus Levante.

“We talked and everything is solved. I know that the coach trusts in me and I will continue working to help the team.

“The reasons why I have not played are sporting-based. What we spoke about remains between Mourinho and me. I see no punishment.”