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 By Mike Whalley

Osman close to inking new Everton deal

Everton midfielder Leon Osman is expected to continue his long association with Everton by signing a new contract in the coming weeks.

Osman scored his first derby goal in the 2-2 draw at Goodison Park in October
Leon Osman's was rewarded for his consistent displays for Everton with a first international cap in November.

Osman’s current deal expires in June 2014, and he is understood to want at least a 12-month extension.

The England international’s representatives are close to reaching an agreement with club officials after several months of talks.

And Osman, who will celebrate his 32nd birthday on May 17, is set to ink a new deal with a club he joined as a 16-year-old in 1997.

He has enjoyed an impressive season, scoring eight goals for Everton and making his international debut in a friendly against Sweden in November.

Osman has refused to give up hope of European qualification, even though it is a long shot following Sunday’s 0-0 draw with Liverpool at Anfield.

That result has left Everton sixth with two games to play, five points behind Tottenham in fifth position. David Moyes’ side need to finish fifth in order to qualify for next season’s Europa League.

Osman told Everton’s official website: “It's going to take a disaster from one of the teams above us for us to get in there, but we can only hope that (the draw at Anfield) is a good point. We've got to keep going and try to win our last two games and hope that's enough.”

Everton host West Ham on Sunday before completing their Premier League campaign at Chelsea on May 19.

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