Good news at double for Everton as Naysmith and Osman sign deals

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The Independent Online

Everton had a double dose of good news yesterday when Leon Osman signed a new four-year contract and Gary Naysmith agreed a three-year deal to keep him at Goodison Park until 2008.

Everton had a double dose of good news yesterday when Leon Osman signed a new four-year contract and Gary Naysmith agreed a three-year deal to keep him at Goodison Park until 2008.

Naysmith, the 26-year-old defender who joined the club in 2000 for £1.5m from Hearts, was part of the side that qualified for next season's Champions' League.

"I'm delighted to be finally signing because it's been a long time coming," he said. "The negotiations began last summer but for one reason or another things never got done. It all got left until the end of the season and if I'm being completely truthful, 50 per cent of me thought that I would have to leave.

"But the negotiations went well and thankfully everything has now been sorted. I've said all along that I wanted to stay. I've really enjoyed my four and a half years here and this is my club. It's the longest spell I've ever had at a club as a first-team player.

"I'm settled in the area, so are my wife and children, so I didn't want to move away. I'm delighted that it's come to the conclusion that I always wanted."

The manager of Queen's Park Rangers, Ian Holloway, has signed the striker Stefan Moore on a three-year deal from Aston Villa. The 21-year-old has been allowed to leave Villa Park despite having a year to run on his contract. "He's the sort of player who will help get us back into the Premiership," Holloway said. "That's where we want to be, and that's where he deserves to be. He's played and scored in the Premiership and we're looking to get him back to where he started.

"What he needs is to get a few games under his belt and when he does he'll be flying," Holloway said.

Moore becomes QPR's second summer signing following the capture of the defender Ian Evatt from Chesterfield, while Charlton's out-of-contract goalkeeper Simon Royce is due to join on 1 July.

The chairman of Aston Villa, Doug Ellis, is on the road to recovery after a heart by-pass operation. The 81-year-old had surgery on Sunday - 72 hours after being admitted to the Priory Hospital in Birmingham complaining of chest pains.

Ellis will now spend several days recuperating but has already indicated that he intends to return to Villa for the start of the new campaign.

Villa are in a power vacuum with the resignation of chief executive Bruce Langham last month and Ellis's enforced absence.

Fans' groups have been urging Ellis to step down and allow other investors to move into the club - something he has already resisted.

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