Marouane Fellaini signs new Everton deal

 

Everton midfielder Marouane Fellaini insists he would have not signed a new five-year contract had he not been convinced about the club's ambition.

The sale of playmaker Mikel Arteta to Arsenal in the summer and on-going, long-standing attempts to sell the Toffees have led to some disquiet among some supporters.

A second march by fans group Blue Union is planned ahead of this weekend's home match with Wolves.

But Fellaini said despite interest from other sides he wanted to repay the faith of manager David Moyes and the club.

"If Everton didn't have ambition I wouldn't have signed here," said the 23-year-old.

"It is a difficult decision because I know one or two big clubs have been watching me and I had one and a half years left on my contract.

"If I sign it means I am happy. I have played for three and a half years for Everton and I am happy with my team-mates, the manager, the chairman and the direction of the club.

"But my decision was because Everton showed faith in me at the age of 20 and I signed to show gratitude and my faith in the club."

Fellaini said the loss of Arteta was understandable but he was confident the club would be signing players in the future who would improve the squad.

"Mikel Arteta is 28, 29 and has ambition and wants to move because he played for seven years at Everton," the Belgium midfielder added.

"Everton gave me a new contract because they have good ambition.

"It is important for Everton because when I started this season the supporters were not happy because we were not signing new players.

"But in time I think Everton will sign players for the future.

"I think Everton try to give the maximum for the players. The football has been difficult this season but everything is good."

Despite the team's troubles this season - they have lost six of the past seven and are just above the relegation zone in the Barclays Premier League - Fellaini said the spirit was good within the squad.

"Everton is family. The players - Leighton Baines, Phil Neville, Phil Jagielka - are a great example and I have a good relationship with the French guys Louis Saha and Sylvain Distin," he said.

That feeling of being at home has been encouraged by Moyes, who signed Fellaini for £15million in the summer of 2008.

"The manager gives me a lot of confidence. He bought me for a lot of money and maybe it was a bit of a gamble," he added.

"First time I signed I signed because the manager gave me confidence."

With the midfielder, who had 18 months remaining on his previous deal, impressing this season Everton chief executive Robert Elstone said it was important to keep him at Goodison Park.

"We are delighted to have secured the services of Marouane for the long term," he told evertonfc.com.

"As everyone is aware these negotiations have been ongoing for some time but both parties remained positive that we would reach agreement.

"Marouane has been a hugely influential player for Everton since his arrival in 2008 and we hope that remains to be the case for the next five years."

PA

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