England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford has agreed a new contract with Everton to end speculation over a move to a Premier League rival.
The 28-year-old, approaching the last 12 months of his contract, had been linked with a move to Tottenham among other clubs but has agreed to stay at Goodison Park, even though the contract has not yet been signed.
Pickford -- a £30 million ($36 million) signing from Sunderland in 2017 -- has made more than 200 appearances for Everton and new manager Sean Dyche believes he can continue to improve.
“He’s a very, very good player, a good servant to this football club so far and he’s going to continue to be that for sure,” said Dyche, whose side are 16th in the table, just one point clear of the relegation zone.
“I think it’s a sign that he’s enjoying our new regime and he’s accepting of what we’re looking to offer. He’s been a fantastic player, so we want that to continue.”
Dyche has won both of his home games in charge so far, either side of defeat in the Merseyside derby at Liverpool, and will look to make it three in a row when Aston Villa visit on Saturday.
But neither of the wins over Arsenal and Leeds were seen first-hand by the club’s hierarchy, who have stayed away from Goodison in recent weeks following what the club described as credible threats to their safety.
Dyche said his interactions with the board had been normal since his arrival, but recognised the need to bring all parties together at the club.
“If there is a disconnection we’ve got to try to bring a reconnection,” he said. “The fans are a massively important part of the club, I understand that and I’m learning more and more about that, the energy and passion, it’s got to be respected.
“Can we bring it back together and find the right way to bring it together? Wins help, they bring the feel-good factor. It doesn’t solve everything but it makes it feel better and hopefully brings a new connection.”