MELBOURNE has secured another key piece of its future with free agent Christian Salem signing on for a further five years.
The 25-year-old defender, who has been integral to the Demons' 5-0 start to the season, has put pen to paper on a new deal that will see him remain at the club until at least the end of the 2026 season.
The versatile Salem is well-known for his elite foot skills and his ability to rebound the ball from half-back.
Over the past few years, he has emerged as one of the best rebounding defenders in the game and one of Melbourne's most reliable performers.
List manager Tim Lamb said the club was 'rapt' to have secured Salem's signature long-term.
"Given he would have been eligible for free agency at the end of this year it is significant that he has forgone that opportunity to extend his time here so early in the season," Lamb told Melbourne Media.
"Christian has developed into a crucial player and we believe he still has significant growth in his game.
"He is a much-loved and highly respected member of our playing group and we are excited to see what he can produce for the red and blue in the years to come."
Salem, who was drafted at pick No.9 in the 2013 NAB AFL Draft, has played 111 games for Melbourne across eight seasons.