Everton have announced that midfielder Thomas Hitzlsperger will remain at the club until the end of the season.
Hitzlsperger, 30, moved to Goodison Park on a on a short-term contract in October last year, having been released by Wolfsburg in the summer.
With his contract having been due to expire this month, there had been reports the former Germany international could return to his homeland with Eintracht Frankfurt, with the player telling the Liverpool Echo before Christmas that he was “not just happy to sit on the bench all season long”.
However, with Ross Barkley departing the club on loan to Leeds on Friday, manager David Moyes said Hitzlsperger would have an important role to play in the months to come.
"Thomas wants to play, like everybody else,” David Moyes said on the club’s official website. "We've needed him and we will continue to need him with the games we have got in the second half of the season.
"I was thinking about letting Ross go out on loan and Thomas' experience allowed me to do that. I just felt that keeping him was important."