Heitinga closing in on new Everton deal

Yanick Vos
Heitinga closing in on new Everton deal

John Heitinga has revealed he is close to signing a new contract with Everton.

The 28-year-old defender, who moved to Goodison Park from Atletico Madrid in September 2009, has less than two years remaining on his current deal, but, despite being linked with a move to Fenerbahce in the summer, the Dutchman insists he is happy to remain with David Moyes' side.

"There is a big chance that I sign a new contract at Everton, but I'm not sure yet," Heitinga told Goal.com. "I just had a new contract proposal. The deal is not done yet. But I really love it at Everton. Everton is a beautiful club with great fans."

Everton has enjoyed a rare strong start to the season and currently sits fourth in the Premier League after securing 14 points from seven games. Heitinga insists the prospect of securing European football next season is within Everton's grasp but admits that injuries to key players could hinder the club's progress this term.

"In the English league it's not obvious that you qualify for European football. Every time we are very close. Right now we do have the squad to reach the Europa League. We're in the fourth position now," he said. "I'm really looking forward to play European football again. I was used to that at Ajax and Atletico [Madrid], in the Champions League. I want to reach the highest possible. I want to qualify for European football with Everton. With this squad we deserve that.

"There's only a big difference between earning something and getting it. I think the club is craving for European football. Only if you look at the enthusiasm at the fans during the semifinal of the FA Cup last season. The group is ready for it. There were not much changes in the group and we have grown. We only have one of the smallest selections in the Premier League. We can't handle to many setbacks. Then it would be difficult."

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