Jagielka and Yobo sign new deals with Everton
Everton defenders Phil Jagielka and Joseph Yobo have both agreed new five-year contracts with the club.
Jagielka, currently recovering from a knee ligament operation which is likely to sideline him until the middle of August, was this week named the Toffees' player of the season.
He put in numerous impressive performances in central defence and scored the penalty which beat Manchester United in their semi-final shoot-out to book a place in the FA Cup final against Chelsea.
Reports earlier this week had suggested Yobo was unsettled at the club but his agreement of a new deal puts paid to any thoughts of him leaving Goodison Park.
"Everton are delighted contract negotiations with both Joseph Yobo and Phil Jagielka have now been successfully concluded,'' said a club statement. "Both players will sign new five-year deals with the club imminently.''
Yobo was manager David Moyes' first major signing in 2002 and the Nigeria captain is likely to start at Wembley next Saturday in place of Jagielka.
Earlier this week Jagielka, signed from Sheffield United for £4m in July 2007, said he wanted to commit his future to the club.
"Obviously if I had not got injured, discussions might have been a whole lot easier,'' he said. "There's not much I can do. I can't perform for a few months but if it's a case of me committing my future, there is no issue with that.
"The fans, the staff, the players - everything about the club suits me to a tee.''
Moyes insists securing their services is part of his ongoing strategy to make the Toffees stronger.
"It is good news. I think stability is something we have had in recent years,'' he said. "We've been on it for quite a while but it has been done relatively quietly and I'm delighted we have got them.
"Joseph Yobo is 28 and hopefully he will go on and we'll get the best years out of him as a centre-half. Phil Jagielka has improved no end and we now have him secured on a longer contract.
"What we wanted to do is secure the people we already have at the club and then keep adding on top of that and I think we have been doing our business in a real good fashion over the last few years.
"The message it sends out is that all our major players are tied up on long contracts. We have to make sure we are continually building and the next bit is to get the finances to keep building on top.
"These players won't go on forever and we need to keep replenishing behind and make sure we keep bringing in other players as well.''
Fringe players like Lars Jacobsen and Segundo Castillo will have to wait a little while longer, however, to find out their fate.
Jacobsen's one-year deal is up in a matter of days while Castillo has been on loan from Red Star Belgrade and has yet to hear if he has done enough to earn a permanent stay.
"I will talk to Lars and to let them know the situation but it will be after the FA Cup final,'' said Moyes. "They are very much part of the squad and they will very much be part of the cup final [preparations].''
Everton chief executive Robert Elstone has pledged to support Moyes in strengthening his squad and is hopeful they can do so as early as possible after a deal for record signing Marouane Fellaini was concluded in the final hours of the August transfer window.
"We are in the process of looking at forecasts for next year,'' he said. "We're talking with the board, with the banks and with the manager about transfer policy.
"We absolutely recognise the need to provide support and if you look at the last four or five years, that support to a significant level has been delivered and I'm pretty confident that will be the same again this year.''
Elstone added on evertonfc.com: "We learn from [the Fellaini] experience. That way is less than ideal on a number of fronts.
"We have to look to improve that by identifying and securing funds at the earliest possible opportunity and marrying that with David's strategy on which players he wants to bring in.
"We know we can improve on the summer of 2008. But having said that, Fellaini has had a fantastic impact on the club this year and if we'd done our business earlier maybe we wouldn't have bought him.''