English League 1

Williamson signs new deal

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Fri, 21 Jun 2013 12:00:00

Valencia defender Jeremy Mathieu has confirmed he has agreed a new contract with the Liga club, despite interest from Barcelona.

The 29-year old will put pen to paper on a deal that will keep him at the Mestalla until 2017, where he has spent the last four years of his career.

Mathieu was reportedly outlined as one of Tito Vilanova's targets to bring to the Spanish champions this summer, but the Frenchman says he will be staying put.

"Everything has been sorted out, I have the new contract in my hands - I just have to sign it," he told L'Equipe.

"I was waiting to see other propositions, but I have always known I would stay. The World Cup is in one year's time and the French team is on my mind.

"I could not see myself start again from scratch while I feel fine at Valencia where I am considered as an important player."

The defender also confirmed that Barcelona were keen on his signature, but he admitted that he probably would not have been first choice at the Nou Camp.

"Interest from Barcelona? Yes indeed, but I was only fourth or fifth position on their list. I just know their top priority was Thiago Silva," he said.

"I could have waited but I had to be respectful towards Valencia who were waiting for my answer for a while.

"After having talks with the coach, I think I will start the new season in the centre of defence."

The 24-year-old, who agreed terms before he went on holiday, will now stay at Vale Park until the summer of 2015.

Williamson said: "I am absolutely buzzing for it, obviously it was a great season last season, I've just got to try and push on from here really.

"Moving up to League One was a big factor, I'm quite settled here now and I've got a good relationship with the boys."

The front man scored nine goals for Micky Adams' side last term as they won promotion from League Two and he is ready to battle Tom Pope and Lee Hughes for a place in attack next season.

"Ideally I want to start more games," he added. "Last season I didn't start many games but I still managed to score nine goals which was okay but I want to be starting, hopefully if I start more I'll score more.

"There is always going to be competition for places no matter where you are so hopefully I will just get a good pre-season under my belt."

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