Bayer 04 Leverkusen have reached an agreement with FC Schalke 04 for the transfer of defender Kyriakos Papadopoulos.
The Greece international, who spent the 2014/15 season on loan at the BayArena, has put pen to paper on a contract that keeps him at Bayer 04 until 30 June 2020.
“I’m really happy it’s all gone through,” Papadopoulos told the club’s official website.
“I had a fantastic time at Leverkusen this season in spite of the two serious shoulder injuries. The club has shown great confidence in me and worked hard to sign me and I’m grateful for that. I’m looking forward to playing with this great team and I think we can go places and be successful.”
Further, the club’s sporting director Rudi Völler highlighted the importance of completing a permanent move for Papadopoulos.
“Kyriakos Papadopoulos showed his quality in central defence this term,” Völler said. “Although he’s only 23, he has a huge amount of experience and he has also impressed on the European stage.
“On top of that, ‘Papa’ has fitted into our team really well. His battling, his passion and his total commitment have all been impressive.”
Papadopoulos, a reported Liverpool target, tallied four goals and one assist in 19 appearances in all competitions for Leverkusen last season.
Benzema happy at Real Madrid
The agent of Real Madrid CF forward Karim Benzema, Karim Djaziri, has insisted his client is happy in the Spanish capital despite reports linking the player with a move to the English Premier League this summer.
The France international, who joined Los Blancos from French powerhouse Olympique Lyonnais for €35 million in July 2009, has been linked with Premier League giants Arsenal (3/1) and Manchester United (5/2) in recent weeks, but the player’s agent has now moved to rubbish the aforementioned rumours.
“I haven’t met with any club in London,” Djaziri said. “Not with United and not with anyone else. We haven’t held talks with anyone other than Real Madrid.
“What is Karim going to do in Manchester? He’s happy in Madrid. He doesn’t want to leave. Benzema would only leave if Real Madrid told him he was surplus to requirements, because he isn’t going to leave of his own accord.
“Karim wants to see out his contract. He wants to retire at Real Madrid.”
Benzema, whose current deal at the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu is set to expire in the summer of 2019, bagged 15 goals and 10 assists in 29 La Liga appearances for Real Madrid last term.