FOOTBALL NEWS

26/02/2008 10:48, Report by Ben Hibbs

Benzema focused on OT result

Lyon striker Karim Benzema says he is ignoring persistent speculation linking him with a move to Champions League last 16 opponents and concentrating on helping his side reach the quarter finals.

The 20-year-old forward has been linked with a summer move to Old Trafford, but with United and Lyon set to resume battle after last week's 1-1 draw, Benzema is staying focused.

"I have a contract with Lyon until 2012," he was quoted as saying. "I signed an extension last June. There will be plenty of time for me to think about other clubs in the future.

"I don't know when I will take a decision, but one thing that is certain is that it will not be at the end of this season. I will still be playing for Lyon next year. I am just 20-years-old, and I have my future in front of me."

It was reported that Lyon have slapped a £45million price tag on their exciting young centre forward.

That may not quell the interest in the player who scored Lyon's goal in the last 16 first leg tie against the Reds. But Benzema insists he won't let it affect him when the French champions visit Manchester next Tuesday.

"I am just concentrating on playing football, and I follow the advice of those close to me," he said. "I haven't discussed anything with the Lyon president, Jean-Michel Aulas. My agent does that for me - my only job is out on the pitch."

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