Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema has found himself at the centre of a bizarre online argument between his agent and Italian journalist Gianluca Di Marzio.
The row began when Di Marzio wrote a piece claiming the France international had a meeting alongside his agent, and a host of AC Milan senior figures last week to discuss a potential switch to the San Siro. Benzema's agent didn't take kindly to the report, taking to Twitter to make his feelings known on the story.
🤣🤣🤣— KDjaziri (@KDjaziri) July 20, 2018
Benzema then weighed in to the action himself, posting on his Instagram story a message that translating as: "Di Marzio, it’s you who will need to change jobs. Liar."
The explosive conflict raged on, and Di Marzio hit back with a Tweet of his own, which translates as: "He (Benzema’s agent) can laugh as much as he wants. Maybe he won’t laugh if and when the player changes agent. And when he finds out that Benzema made other intermediaries talk to Milan. And he spoke to Gattuso himself. I don’t laugh..telling you what I’ve verified."
Può ridere quanto vuole...magari non riderà se e quando il giocatore cambierà agente. E quando scoprirà che Benzema ha fatto parlare altri intermediari con il Milan. E ha parlato lui stesso con Gattuso. Io non rido...racconto quel che ho verificato.— Gianluca Di Marzio (@DiMarzio) July 20, 2018
The public spat has added further mystery to the future of Benzema, who could leave the Bernabéu this summer as Los Blancos look to shake up their squad following the departure of former manager Zinedine Zidane.
AC Milan are rumoured to be in the market for a striker, and could look to the Frenchman as an alternative to Chelsea's Álvaro Morata.
Meanwhile, Real Madrid may have been handed a boost in their pursuit of Chelsea talisman Eden Hazard, after reports emerged that the Blues could look to sign Manchester United ace Anthony Martial as his replacement.
The French international could cost the Blues around €100m, but this could be affordable given the astronomical fee that Hazard is likely to bring in.