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Soccer-Barkley agrees new contract at Everton

Reuters

July 29 (Reuters) - England midfielder Ross Barkley has signed a new four-year contract with Everton, the Premier League club said on Tuesday.

Barkley, 20, enjoyed a breakthrough year under manager Roberto Martinez last season, earning widespread praise for some dynamic performances as well as a place in England's squad for the World Cup finals.

"Everton and Ross have always been the perfect fit - Roberto has made it even more special," chairman Bill Kenwright told the club's website (www.evertonfc.com).

"This was an important agreement and, I have to say, was conducted in a way that showed clearly the devotion to Everton Football Club of everyone involved."

Barkley's development into one of English soccer's leading talents had led to media speculation that rival clubs, including Manchester United and Manchester City, would bid for him this summer.

(Writing by Stephen Wood, editing by Justin Palmer)

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