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By ESPN Staff

Villa delighted after penning new Valencia contract

Valencia striker David Villa admitted he was proud of the interest he had attracted from other clubs after signing a new six-year contract at the Mestalla.

The 26-year-old ended speculation over his future on Wednesday by putting pen to paper on a deal which ties him to Valencia until 2014.

The sought-after forward was widely tipped to make a big-money move after winning the golden boot at Euro 2008.

The Spain international was strongly linked with a move to Spanish champions Real Madrid in particular, but he claimed he was pleased Valencia never looked to cash in on their most prized asset.

He said: 'I am proud that other clubs have wanted me. It is clear that they needed to negotiate with Valencia.

'Valencia refused money and instead opted to keep me and I'm proud of that.'

Villa caught the eye at the European Championship, scoring a hat-trick in Spain's opening-game victory over Russia as well as the winner against Sweden to finish as the competitions' leading scorer.

The striker, who was presented with a shirt with 'Villa 2014' on the back at the press conference to announce his new contract, added: 'It is a very happy day for me. In the last month and a half lots of things have happened around me that I have not experienced before.

'I want to thank Valencia for this gesture. I am very grateful to this club for what they have given me and I hope to continue to give good performances.'

The striker was, according to media reports in Spain, the target of a bid of around 47million euros from Madrid earlier this week.

Valencia vice-president Fernando Gomez denied on Tuesday night they had received any offers for Villa, although there were reports of a new Madrid bid of 40million plus either Javi Garcia or Javier Saviola in part-exchange.

Valencia president Vicente Soriano insisted Villa's decision to commit his future to the club was a sign they are still a force in Spanish football.

He said: 'We announce today that David Villa and Valencia will remain together for many years to come.

'The best striker in Europe is staying at Valencia.

'In our club we need men like David Villa not only for his sporting abilities but for the respect he has shown to our club and our fans.

'I hope this will be a clear message to other clubs and our executives that we will not be intimidated by anyone. Valencia will fight to continue to be a big club.'

Villa's new contract follows soon after team-mate David Silva put pen to paper on an improved five-year deal with Valencia, and fulfils the club's ambition of keeping the two highly-rated Spain internationals at the Mestalla.

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