Madrid: Real Madrid have extended the contract of Brazilian left back Marcelo until the end of June 2018, it was reported in the Spanish press on Saturday.
The move attempts to secure the future of Marcelo, who joined the club as an 18-year-old midway through the 2006-2007 season for six million euros, and as well as tying him down to Real Madrid it also sees the player receive an important pay rise, Xinhua reports.
Interestingly the decision comes when Marcelo, who is considered as one of the best attacking left backs in the world and arrived in Madrid to replace fellow Brazilian Roberto Carlos, has been suffering a low point in his career. He broke a bone in his left foot earlier in the season and on his return following three months out of action he looked to be visible overweight.
His struggle back to full fitness and the improved performances of Fabio Coentrao on the left have seen Marcelo lose his place in what coach Jose Mourinho considers to be his first choice starting 11, although he has given signs of a return to form and fitness in the past month.
Marcelo' s arrival appears to assure the continuity of the backbone of the Real Madrid defence, given that apart from veteran, Ricardo Carvalho, all defenders in the current first team squad have contracts until June 2016.
Raul Albiol, Alvaro Arbeloa and Pepe all have contracts until 2016, while young defender Rafael Varene, who has become a first team regular in recent months, Fabio Coentrao and Sergio Ramos, who was linked in the Catalan newspaper 'El Mundo Deportivo' to interest from FC Barcelona this Saturday, all have deals until 2017.
Coentrao may leave the club this summer if Real Madrid decide to pursue their interest in Tottenham winger Gareth Bale, whose arrival would mean three specialist left sided players all battling for a place with Cristiano Ronaldo also favouring a role on the left hand side of the Madrid attack.