Rumor has it that Karim Benzema is weighing his options after a frustrating six months at Al-Ittihad.

Last summer, the Frenchman was widely anticipated to ink a new contract with Real Madrid. So, his decision to go on a free transfer to pursue his career in Saudi Arabia was shocking.

What lured him away was an attractive three-year deal with Al-Ittihad, with a potential net annual salary of $217 million. With nine goals and five assists in 15 appearances, he’s off to a decent start in the Saudi Pro League.

But the Madrid great had a falling out with his ex-manager Nuno Espirito Santo, despite keeping an outstanding record. An onslaught of hateful comments from his followers led him to delete all of his social media accounts.

And Benzema hasn’t even shown up for preseason training since he went missing in December. His departure from the club is reportedly being discussed with new Sporting Director Ramon Planes, according to HITC.

What did Benzema’s lawyer say about the future?

Reports of Benzema’s discontent have alerted some teams who are hoping to acquire a prominent striker in January.

As per Evening Standard, Benzema has expressed his willingness to leave Saudi Arabia this month. The report goes on to suggest a transfer to the Premier League. Manchester United was the first to express interest in the Ballon d’Or winners’ services last weekend. Since then, much talk has surrounded his future. Some sources also mentioned that Arsenal and Chelsea have interest. It’s no secret that they are both looking to strengthen their offensive departments before the January transfer window shuts.

However, Benzema’s lawyer Hugues Vigier says the player is not planning to quit the club despite the on-field troubles. Nonetheless, he dropped hints that Lyon, his previous club, may be an option if he chooses to go.

“When you are used to a certain level [of performance] and your results are a little less good at a given moment, people immediately say that it is the end of your career. I have to say that I would be quite happy to see him come back to play in Lyon, I would like it… but he hasn’t told me that yet!”

Why is Karim Benzema absent from Al-Ittihad?

His delayed return to Al-Ittihad from his vacation in Mauritius fueled rumors of dissatisfaction inside the Benzema camp. But it became clear very quickly that he couldn’t leave the famous vacation spot because of Cyclone Belal.

“Karim has had ups and downs in his sporting life and perhaps this period will be less prosperous. He also got injured. He left for a few days, staying away from the team due to the cyclone (in Mauritius) and returned to Saudi Arabia”, Vigier revealed to BFMTV.

“We saw him rise from the ashes. If you remember, he didn’t play much when he arrived at Real Madrid, then he became an essential player. When you are at such high levels and at a certain point your results are a little less good, let’s immediately say that you are at the end of your career.”