Naysmith gets new deal
By Adam Marshall
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Gary Naysmith has ended doubts over his future by signing a new contract.
Gary Naysmith has ended doubts over his future by signing a new three-year contract with Everton.
The 26-year-old had been tipped to move on from Goodison Park after heading into the final weeks of his contract without a new accord being struck.
However, with UEFA Champions League football being secured, the club have opted to hand the versatile defender a new contract.
Clubs north and south of the border had been linked with summer moves for the former Hearts man, but he has ended the speculation regarding his future by penning a deal with ties him to The Toffees until the summer of 2008.
Naysmith admits it is a relief to finally clarify his future with the Merseyside club.
"I'm delighted to be finally signing because it's been a long time coming," he told the club's website. "The negotiations began last summer but for one reason or another things never got done.
"It all got left until the end of the season and if I'm being completely truthful, 50 percent of me thought that I would have to leave. But the negotiations went well and thankfully everything has now been sorted.
"I've said all along that I wanted to stay at the club. I've really enjoyed my four-and-a-half years here and this is my club. It's the longest spell I've ever had at a club as a first team player."
Naysmith is currently on the easy list after undergoing ankle surgery, but is confident of being fit for the start of the new season.
"Hopefully I'll be back training with the boys in the middle of July and that will give me a month or so to get fit for the first game of the new season," he added.