Arteta pens five-year Everton deal
Everton midfielder Mikel Arteta has ended speculation over his future by agreeing a new five-year contract with the Premier League club. The 28-year-old had been linked with Arsenal and clubs in his native Spain.
Arteta follows Tim Cahill, Leighton Baines, Jack Rodwell and Seamus Coleman in signing a new long-term deal this summer. The Spaniard told the club's official website: "What this summer has made me realise is how important I am to the club and how important the club is to me.
"The chairman and the manager wanted me to stay 120% and that makes me feel proud," he added. "We are all seeing the club and the future in the same way and that is special - something that you don't always find.
"I believe in this squad. We have got a very strong squad now and it is getting difficult to pick an 11 because of the players we have. Something is happening here and I want to be a part of it."
Arteta returned to action in January after almost a year out with a serious knee injury. His form in the latter half of the season caught the eye, as Everton rose to claim eighth place in the Premier League.
Manager David Moyes made the re-signing of his biggest stars his top priority at the end of last season and now only Steven Pienaar remains to commit.
Arteta joined Everton in a £2m deal five years ago after a successful loan from Real Sociedad. Since then the former Rangers midfielder - although he is still to be recognised by his national team - has been one of the club's most influential players.
Chairman Bill Kenwright said: "Mikel Arteta is one of the finest players ever to wear an Everton shirt and over the past few weeks his pride in wearing that shirt has helped our conversations hugely. Alongside several others in the squad we are both passionate Evertonians.
"After already tying up the likes of Tim Cahill, Jack Rodwell, Leighton Baines and Seamus Coleman on long-term deals we have now agreed terms with one of the finest and most influential players in our recent history."
Moyes added: "It's great news that Mikel Arteta has pledged his future to Everton. He is a very important player for us and we are delighted to secure him. The chairman deserves a lot of credit for making this deal happen. He is continually trying to move the club forward."