The Argentina defender Mauricio Pellegrino will stay at Valencia CF for another season after agreeing a one-year extension to his contract, which had been due to expire this summer.
"I have agreed to stay for another year," he said. "I'm very happy that both the club and [coach Rafael] Benítez were keen to see me continue here." The 32-year-old centre-half has been with Valencia since 1999.
Pellegrino arrived at the Mestalla from CA Vélez Sarsfield, having spent the previous campaign on loan at FC Barcelona. He played in the UEFA Champions League final defeats by Real Madrid CF and FC Bayern München and was part of the side which won Valencia's first Spanish championship since 1971 in 2002.
Valencia are chasing honours on two fronts this season: they trail Madrid by a point at the top of the Primera División and next Thursday play the first leg of their UEFA Cup quarter-final against FC Girondins de Bordeaux in France.
However, Valencia will enter the run-in without reserve goalkeeper Andrés Palop, after it was confirmed he will miss the rest of the season because of a hand injury. The 30-year-old damaged ligaments in his left hand during the warm-up before last week's UEFA Cup tie against Genclerbirligi SK and will require surgery.
Come in No3
Palop will be out of action for a minimum of two months, effectively ruling him out until the summer. Third-choice goalkeeper David Rangel will act as Santiago Cañizares's understudy in his absence.
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