With their prize striker being eyed by English Premier League clubs, the Greek soccer team Olympiakos kept star striker Kostas Mitroglou in the fold – by increasing his contract from 600,000 euros ($820,000) to one million euros ($1.37 million) that should keep him with the team for several more years.
Mitroglou, 25, is the star of the national team as well and has become a hot prospect with his scoring ability in a sport where they aren’t many. He has scored 21 goals this year for Olympiakos and Greece.
He had an eight million euros ($10.94 million) release clause but the new contract has no ceiling which means the team could demand an exorbitant amount from other clubs if they want to sign him away.
Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal, all with deep pockets were all chasing Mitroglou, who has become a fan favorite with his flamboyant style and tatooed personage. The contract extension is for one year and takes him into 2017 if he stays.
“I’m really happy that I renew once again with the team that belongs in my heart,” said Mitroglou, Eurosport reported.
“I want to thank the club and the President Vangelis Marinakis who have always believed in me even at times when my career was not progressing as I dreamed. I will give everything in training and in matches to try and make our fans happy,” he said.
“Olympiakos is a family and we all struggle for the red and white. We are all proud of this team and we will give everything to produce more glory the club,” he added.
Olympiakos is atop the Greek Super League with a big 10-point advantage over teams scrambling to catch up and prevent the Reds from winning a fourth consecutive regular season title.
It has also made the final 16 of the European Champions League against perennial powerhouse Manchester United.