Everton clinch new Rodwell deal

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The Independent Online

Everton midfielder Jack Rodwell has spurned reported interest from Manchester United to sign a new five-year contract with the club.

The 19-year-old had been linked with a £15million move to Old Trafford but has committed himself to the Toffees having been persuaded by manager David Moyes and chairman Bill Kenwright that his prospects would be better at Goodison.

Rodwell made his full Everton debut as a substitute against AZ Alkmaar at the age of just 16 years and 284 days in December 2007, to become the youngest Everton player to play in Europe, although his record was subsequently beaten by Jake Bidwell last December.

His Barclays Premier League bow came in March 2008 when he made a substitute appearance at Sunderland and since then he has developed into a first-team regular.

Rodwell only signed a five-year contract in February last year but due to his progress and interest from other clubs Everton have rewarded him with an improved deal.

Only last week Moyes warned his players that leaving Everton was not always the route to success.

"Some of the players who have left Everton might say it was the right place for them after all," said the Scot.

"At the end of their careers, they might look back and say Everton was the best time - they enjoy it here.

"Even Thomas Gravesen, who went to Real Madrid, would say the same thing.

"There are lots of players who are going to look back at Everton and say they had a really good time, without winning anything obviously."

"I'm very pleased that Jack has signed an improved contract because it re-affirms Everton's ambition to challenge the top clubs.

"I want to keep all the players we have here to make us stronger in the coming season."

Rodwell said he had never taken any notice of speculation about his future and had always been committed to Everton.

"I'm perfectly happy at the club and I'm very happy to be signing a new deal," he said.

"I have enjoyed every minute of being at this club and I try not to look at speculation that much, I just try to play my best on the pitch."

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