Delph signs new contract

Fabian Delph has committed his future to Aston Villa, signing a new four-and-a-half-year deal and stating: "I am here for the long run".

Aston Villa have announced a new four-and-a-half-year contract for midfielder Fabian Delph.

The England international had been linked with a move away from Villa Park, but has now committed his future to the club he joined from Leeds United in 2009.

Speculation surrounding a potential exit had intensified when Delph was omitted from the matchday squad for Saturday's FA Cup clash against Bournemouth.

However, Villa announced his new contract 10 minutes before the fourth-round fixture kicked off.

"The club has given me a great platform to perform and a great opportunity to showcase what I can do," Delph told Villa's official website.

"The fans have been great with me, the chairman has been absolutely fantastic with me and I have a great relationship with the manager and I see the boys here as my brothers, my family and I am delighted to stay here.

"I am a loyal person and committing my future will hopefully show everybody what type of guy I am.

"There was no way I was going to bail out. I am here for the long run."

Delph has become a key figure in the Villa squad and was named as the fans' and players' player of the season for 2013-14.

Manager Paul Lambert added: "It's great for Aston Villa. It's great for Fabian. I think this is a massive, massive step.

"The thing with modern-day football and loyalty is there's not so much of it - you very rarely get people who stay at a football club for a long, long time.

"No-one expected it. I think everyone thought Fabian was going to go and we would have to get someone else in. I don't think anyone saw this coming.

"But it's been something we've been trying to do, as I have always said.

"He enjoys his football and being at the club."