Bengaluru, August 18: China's Wu Lei has extended his contract with La Liga outfit Espanyol in a deal that keeps the striker at the Spanish club until June 2024.
The 28-year-old had been linked with a move away from the Barcelona-based side following their relegation from the top flight of Spanish football at the end of last season before publicly committing himself to Espanyol earlier in the month.
The extension, which was finalised on Monday (August 17), means Wu Lei will be 32 years old when his contract expires and he has set his sights on ensuring the club make an immediate return to La Liga after bringing the wooden spoon in the 2019-20 season which was marred by the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
"Precisely the Chinese striker of Espanyol, who had a contract until December 31, 2020 with the option of one more season, will continue to be part of the Blue and White team until June 2024, after the agreement reached in the last hours," an official statement from Espanyol said.
The contract renewal came as no big surprise as Wu told in an interview with CGTN last month that he will stay at Espanyol despite the team being relegated to the Segunda Division.
"I saw that a lot of people have been talking about the next stop for me," said the 28-year-old.
"But I've been expressing my thoughts, including what I wrote for my weekly dairy, and I've made the decision to stay at Espanyol next season. I'll play in the Segunda Division with my team."
"Our goal is to return to La Liga as soon as possible and we're confident because our abilities are not those of a bottom-of-the-table team," he said.
According to the club's statement, Wu Lei, together with the team's goalkeeper Diego Lopez and defender Didac Vila all agreed to lower their salaries for their new contracts as a result of the team's relegation.
Espanyol, one of the most prestigious clubs, were relegated from the top flight of Spanish football for the first time since winning promotion back to La Liga in 1994.
(With inputs from Agencies)