Full-back Leighton Baines has signed a new five-year contract at Everton. The 25-year-old, who moved to Goodison Park from Wigan in 2007 and still had two years remaining on his deal, was a member of England's provisional 30-man FIFA World Cup™ squad but did not make the final 23 for South Africa.
Baines told www.evertonfc.com: "I'm more than happy to be staying here and committing to the club and it was nice for the club to want me to stay. It was simple - it would have been done quicker if I hadn't been away on holiday."
The news came as the Toffees revealed they had also completed a deal to sign France Under-21 striker Magaye Gueye from Strasbourg for an undisclosed fee. Gueye, who will turn 20 next week, scored nine goals in the French second tier last season before suffering injuries which kept him out for large parts of the campaign. He follows Jermaine Beckford and Joao Silva in moving to Goodison and, like Baines, has committed for five years.
Left-back Baines has become a key member of David Moyes' squad after joining from the club where he began his career. He had been thought likely to go South Africa but struggled in the warm-up friendly against Mexico and was eventually pipped by Stephen Warnock. But his domestic form was enough to earn him a new deal ahead of the club's pre-season trip to Australia.
He told www.evertonfc.com: "I still had two years left so wasn't really thinking about it but the manager said to me at the end of last season that I had done well and he wanted to reward me with a new contract, which was great. It is nice to have it sorted before we go away to Australia because I can focus on the football and not have anything going on in the background. I'm fully focused on the trip to Australia and hopefully that will be a good trip leading to a good season."