Benzema agrees to extend Lyon contract

March 7, 2008

LYON, France, March 7 (Reuters) - Prolific France striker Karim Benzema has agreed to extend his Olympique Lyon contract, the six-times French champions said on Friday.

Benzema, 20, has scored 26 goals in all competitions this season, including 16 in Ligue 1, and has been linked with several leading European clubs including Manchester United.

'We shook hands 48 hours ago,' Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas told reporters. 'We have an agreement with Karim. Now we have to reach one with the people who advise him.'

Benzema was already contracted to Lyon until 2012 and Aulas was negotiating a two-year extension with a pay rise that would make him the highest-paid player in Ligue 1, a source close to the player said.

The Lyon chairman, who said recently he was considering setting a buyout clause worth 100 million euros, said the idea was to make sure Benzema stayed at least another season and possibly until 2010.

Details of the deal could be announced next week, Aulas said.