By Peter Weis@PeterVicey

Stuttgart sign Karazor to new long-term deal

On the very same day they are expected to lose defender Hiroki Ito to FC Bayern München, VfB Stuttgart confirmed a contract extension for defensive linchpin Atakan Karazor. 

Ahead of Hiroki Ito's expected signing with German giants FC Bayern München, 2023/24 Bundesliga runners-up VfB Stuttgart have confirmed a new deal for defensive midfielder Atakan Karazor. The 27-year-old signed a new contract on Thursday afternoon that runs through 2028. Karazor - after legal issues threatened to de-rail his career in the summer of 2022 - bounced back to become a reliable regular in the VfB XI.

The Swabian club made a point of emphasizing that Karazor played in 33 of the past season's 34 Bundesliga fixtures in their club statement. Since joining VfB in 2019, the player has made 101 top flight appearances. Karazor pocketed four assists in 37 appearances across all competitions this past year. He missed just one game due to accumulated yellow suspension,. 

“Atakan Karazor is a key factor in our team," VfB sporting director Fabian Wohlgemuth noted in a club statement, "His presence on the pitch is enormous. Ata is a prime example of team service and identification with VfB. We are delighted that Ata remains clearly committed to VfB and our path and has verified this with the long-term extension of his contract."

“I am very proud that I was able to extend my contract with VfB ahead of schedule," Karazor himself added, "It's an indescribable feeling for me to be able to play for such a big club. I was very well received at VfB from day on and feel very comfortable here. Last season was outstanding for us and I will do everything I can to ensure that we continue to be successful in the future."

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