Onuoha agrees new Manchester City deal

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The Independent Football

Defender Nedum Onuoha has moved to end speculation over his future at Manchester City by agreeing a new five-year contract at Eastlands.

The 22-year-old academy product has been rumoured to be on his way out of the club as Mark Hughes makes a number of high-profile additions to his squad, but has instead committed his future to City and pledged to fight for his place in the team.

Onuoha broke into City's back four midway through last season and never relinquished his place with a series of composed performances.

But he knows that will guarantee him nothing in City's new-look team.

"I was pleased by the way I played towards the end of last season but at the same time I don't think that level of form will be good enough to get me into the side this time around," he told the club's official website.

"Unless you are continuously improving you shouldn't expect to be in the team. I want to improve on last season and I am raring to go."

Onuoha, a member of England's Under-21 squad this summer, insisted there is no better place for him than City even as the challenge to stay in the team intensifies.

"This is a great place for any young player to be," he said.

"Hopefully it will be the start of another good five years for me and for the club. This is a season that we will be looking right towards the top of the table.

"Who knows how far the club can go? If you look back five years who would have expected the club to be in the position it is in now? We feel anything is possible.

"There is a brilliant mix here in terms of the squad. There are a lot of big signings that have been made but there are also plenty of lads who have come through the academy and I think that is an important thing.

"We all have a lot more experience now and I think we are the type of players teams need to be successful. If you look at the recent history of the clubs that have won trophies they have all had a home-grown element."

Only last week, Hughes described Onuoha as one of the club's "prize assets", and he today expressed his delight at securing the Nigeria-born player's future.

"Nedum is a very important part of my future plans for the team, and I am very pleased he has decided to extend his contract with us," Hughes said.

"Despite his tender years he has already matured into a very good defender who has made a significant impact on the first team.

"Nedum has huge potential for the future and is another shining example of the kind of quality our academy can produce for Manchester City Football Club."