May 30, 2014, 6:16 PM EDT
Following a magnificent season, Roma manager Rudi Garcia has penned a brand new three-year contract, the club announced.
With his current deal set to expire next summer, the club thought it prudent to secure its manager’s long-term future by extending him until 2017.
The club saw its most successful season in years as the Giallorossi earned a Champions League bid and look poised to keep most of its star players.
They finished second place in a Serie A season otherwise dominated cover to cover by Juventus.
After a five-year stay in France’s Ligue 1 where he won the title once and Manager of the Year twice with Lille, Garcia made an immediate impact at Roma, winning the club’s first 10 league matches, a Serie A record for best start to a season ever.
But according to club president James Pallotta, the Frenchman impressed him well before the start of the season.
“After I spent the first 30 minutes with Rudi in New York last year,” Pallotta insisted, “I knew he would be the right choice to lead Roma for hopefully a long time. This extension is an integral part of our plan to bring continuity to our overall operational success.”
Roma built its success around a record-setting defense, one that conceded just 25 goals, including just a single score in that 10-match win streak to start the year.
Garcia’s first task this offseason will be to convince breakout defensive star Mehdi Benatia to stay. The 27-year-old told Sky Sports two days ago that the club’s wage offer for a new deal is “unacceptable”, but that he did not explicitly say he wants to leave. Garcia has stood firm that his defender will not leave, despite reported interest from top teams across Europe.
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