AFC Bournemouth full back Simon Francis has signed a new three-year contract with the Cherries.
The 29-year-old committed his future to the Dorset club after attracting interest following an impressive season last term.
Francis had attracted interest from Sky Bet Championship rivals Derby County – forcing the Cherries to issue a hands-off warning to the Rams.
“The times I’ve had here and seeing how far we came last season helped me make my decision” he said. “I can only see one direction the club is going in and that’s up.
“I think we’ve got a great chance to continue in that direction, especially this season – and I’m glad to be a part of it. There was interest and a couple of buds from a club close to my home (Derby), but it never really came to much. I’m just happy to have my future here sorted.”
Cherries boss Eddie Howe praised Francis for being a ‘model professional’ and believes he fully deserved an extended stay at Dean Court.
“He was very, very good last year and he has made a very good start to this season as well” he said. “We are delighted to offer him fresh terms and for him to commit his future to us.
“Off the pitch is just as important as on it for us. I think he’s been a model professional and I’m sure he’s got a lot more football in him. He’s a good age and I’m sure we can see the best in him.”
Francis began his career at Bradford City, before signing for Sheffield United, Southend United and Charlton Athletic – before joining the Cherries in 2012.
The full back is pleased to have secured his future with the Cherries and is looking forward to moving forward with his club.
“To put it simply, this is the happiest I’ve been during my career” he added. “I’m playing my best football in probably the best team I’ve played in.
“It’s a great place to be and I’m very happy to have signed for another three years.”