Ross Barkley has signed a new four-year-deal at Everton, much to Toffees supporters’ delight.
The talented English youngster put pen to paper on a new long-term contract, worth £65,000-a-week on Tuesday.
It should put to an end the speculation linking him with a move away from Goodison Park, with Manchester United and Manchester City's reported interest taking up more than a few column inches.
Barkley said that he had no hesitation at the club which has developed him from a youngster and that he was delighted to have his future sorted.
"It didn't take any persuading. As soon as I got told about the new contract I wanted to sign,” he said at a press-conference to announce the news.
"Signing a new contract is a dream. I've played for Everton most of my life. This is a big thing for me."
Everton have lost the likes of Jack Rodwell and Wayne Rooney as youngsters - after they had come through their academy - to bigger clubs in recent times so Barkley’s decision to stay is a refreshing change for supporters of the club.
It is the icing on the cake for what has been a huge breakthrough year for the 20-year-old. Under David Moyes’ stewardship the dynamic central midfielder had spent a lot of time out on loan in the Championship, but Roberto Martinez has put his faith in him and seen it repaid in abundance.
Barkley was one of Everton’s central figures in their challenge for the Champions League spots last season and with his future secured they can start to plot building their team around him.
His country may well be thinking of doing the same, too, as he is one of the hottest prospects to come through at this current time. Barkley was part of England’s torrid World Cup campaign this summer, but didn’t feature as much as many would have liked.
However, he is likely to be a pivotal component in Roy Hodgson’s plans as he prepares for Euro 2016.
Everton fans are now left hoping that the contract is a signal of Barkley’s commitment to their plans to breach the top four, rather than an insurance that the club will receive big money for him if he does leave.
Contracts in modern football are often no indication of loyalty, but the hope is that Barkley’s signing can mark a new era and it has certainly put a smile on many Evertonian’s faces this afternoon.
Here are some of the best tweets from Toffees fans on Barkley’s contract extension.
Got the biggest smile on my face coming out of work with that Barkley news. What a week so far.— Michael Oskoui (@efc_skoui) July 29, 2014
Fantastic news that Barkley has signed a four-year deal, hopefully there are more to come down the road.— Chris Holley (@ChrisHolley_EFC) July 29, 2014
Moyes would have never in a million years kept the likes of Barkley and Coleman... Martinez has transformed Everton. #EFC— Edd Kent (@eddkent1) July 29, 2014
There's nothing not to like about Ross, we've always knew he was going no where. So here's to you Ross Barkley...— Lloyd Owen (@Lloyd_Owen94) July 29, 2014
Good to see Barkley has signed an extension. Nice to see the boy turn down the money in favour of bettering himself at Everton— Sam Smith (@samuelmark86) July 29, 2014