Madrid, Aug 7: Real Madrid has reached an agreement to extend the contract of French international striker Karim Benzema for five seasons. The new deal announced on Wednesday means the 26-year-old, who joined Real Madrid from Olympique Lyon in the summer of 2010, will remain at the club until the summer of 2019, when he will be 30 years old, reports Xinhua.
Benzema’s former contract was due to expire in the summer of 2015 and Real Madrid had been faced with the prospect of seeing him leave for nothing next summer unless they reached a new agreement with the striker. He netted a total of 24 goals in all competitions as Real Madrid won the Champions League and the King’s Cup last season. The Frenchman has become vital for Real Madrid as he has matured during his first four seasons at the club.
He won his battle with Gonzalo Higuain to become first choice striker as Higuain moved to Napoli last season, though he has sometimes been criticised for what can appear to be a lack of personality. This summer has seen young forward Alvaro Morata join Juventus and at the moment Benzema is the only specialist center-forward at Real Madrid, where last season he formed a potent attacking trio with Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale.
Real Madrid are currently favourites to sign Monaco striker Radamel Falcao before the end of August, but Benzema’s new contract is an effective insurance policy in case that possible deal fails to happen. Wednesday also saw Real Madrid reach agreement to loan B-team midfielder Omar to English Championship side Derby Country.