Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema has denied claims that he played a role in the attempted kidnapping of his former agent.
The 30-year-old striker, who is still on trial for a blackmail case involving former France teammate Mathieu Valbuena, was named in a report from French outlet Mediapart as a potential suspect in the case, brought by the star's former agent Leo D'Souza.
D'Souza is understood to have filed a lawsuit on Monday alleging relatives of Benzema tried to kidnap him after a Ligue 1 clash between Paris Saint-Germain and Lyon on October 7. The striker has taken to his Twitter account to deny the rumours though - rhetorically asking whether or not the claims were actually serious.
« Un proche de Benzema touche le bras de De Souza, c’est un enlevement » « De Souza est roué de coups, il n’a aucun jour d’ITT » « De Souza dit que Benzema était dans le Van, thèse écartée par les enquêteurs » Ce monde est-il sérieux ? #FautArreter #Givemeabreak #CTrop pfff 🤮— Karim Benzema (@Benzema) October 18, 2018
D'Souza's lawsuit alleges that a black van pulled up alongside him after the match had concluded in Paris, where a man whom he recognised to be a friend of Benzema's, told him to get in.
When he refused, D'Souza claims he was punched by the individual and that bystanders were forced to intervene and break up the altercation.
The report goes on to claim that the incident took place because of a disagreement over owed money - with £44,000 understood to have previously been seized by police at an airport in Marrakech, Morocco.
There is no allegation that Benzema was personally involved in the incident though, with the lawsuit instead claiming that the Real Madrid striker was aware of the plot.
The Frenchman, who has scored 131 La Liga goals since moving to Los Blancos nine years ago, is no stranger to controversy - having been exiled from the national side for the past two years as a result of his ongoing spat with Valbuena.