Following the signing of Kostas Mitroglou last Tuesday, veteran goalkeeper Júlio César has committed his future to the club by signing a new two-year contract. The 36-year old stopper, who has won 87 caps for Brazil, announced his desire to finish his career at the Estádio da Luz. His new contract expires in the summer of 2018.
The ex-Inter Milan star has made 64 appearances since joining Benfica after the 2014 World Cup. He has kept 31 clean sheets during this period, winning two Portuguese titles and two League cups. The vastly experienced 'keeper has been a reassuring presence at the back for the Eagles, and was in excellent form before a ruptured adductor tendon brought a premature end to his season in early March.
The Brazilian's contract extension will fuel further speculation that his compatriot Ederson is set to leave the club this summer. The 22-year old - who is part-owned by Benfica, Rio Ave and Portuguese super-agent Jorge Mendes - has been strongly linked with Manchester City and Inter Milan in recent days.
Interestingly, Júlio César revealed that his contract was negotiated some months ago, but an announcement was delayed so as not to distract Ederson during the title run-in.
"It was preferable to wait for this renewal until now, as it could have messed a little with (his) psychology... This club thinks of everything! If I was in Ederson's place, I'd also be a bit sad if I were playing and the club were preoccupied with renewing the contract of another goalkeeper. This goes to show that everyone (gets) the same treatment here. It doesn't depend on your name or on who has won more or less... the most important (thing) is always Benfica!"