Fellaini signs new Toffees deal

Speculation over Fellaini’s future had been growing over recent

weeks even though he had 18 months remaining on his existing deal.

But Toffees manager David Moyes was always confident he could keep

the the Belgium midfielder on board and has now done so. “We are

delighted to have secured the services of Marouane for the long

term,” Everton chief executive Robert Elstone told the club’s

official website. Elstone added: “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.”

Fellaini signed from Standard Liege for £15million in 2008 and

has impressed in central midfield this season, having overcome

injury problems in the past two seasons. Fellaini said that,

despite interest from other sides, he wanted to repay the faith of

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 Mikel Arteta in the summer was

understandable and he is 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 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.”