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Olsson signs new four-year contract

Steve Clarke has pulled off a major coup by persuading Jonas Olsson to commit his long-term future to West Bromwich Albion and sign a new four-year contract.

• Odemwingie keen to make amends

The Sweden international, who was set to become a free agent next summer, has been rewarded with an improved deal which commits him to the Hawthorns until 2016 and makes him one of the club's highest earners with a contract worth in excess of £40,000-a-week.

Albion feared losing Olsson in the summer, but have spent the last 48 hours in negotiations with the players agent, former Sweden international Martin Dahlin to complete the negotiations.

Head coach Steve Clarke said: "This is great news for the club and shows we're heading in the right direction. We've had a productive summer in terms of bringing new players in but it's equally important that you hold onto your best players, and Jonas certainly fits into that category.

"He's a tough, uncompromising central defender who knows all about the Premier League and the opponents he's up against week in, week out. Jonas is also a very important character and leader in our dressing room."

Sporting & technical director, Dan Ashworth, added: "We've been talking to Jonas about a new contract for some time and this is fantastic news. He is a really key player for us and this is a really important signing.

"It's also a real statement from the club about our desire to keep our best players, especially after James Morrison also recently signed a new deal.

"There was never any question on the club's side that we wanted Jonas to sign a new contract but he had to make sure it was the right decision for him and his family, which we fully respected.

"Jonas is a terrific professional both on and off the field and we are absolutely delighted he has decided that staying here is the right move for him at this important stage of his career."

Olsson has become a hugely influential figure on and off the pitch since joining the Albion in August 2008 for a bargain £800,000 from NEC Nijmegen.

He has been a top-flight ever-present so far this term, helping Albion make their best-ever Premier League start and boast the joint-fourth meanest defence in the division. His towering performances last term played a large part in the Baggies securing their highest-ever Premier League finish of tenth and equalling their record of ten clean sheets.

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