Friday, 16th May, 2014

Roberto Martinez has revealed that Everton are in talks with Tony Hibbert over extending his stay at the club.

The veteran defender, whose contract with the Toffees expires in the summer, made just four appearances for the club in the 2013/14 campaign.

However, Martinez insisted that he is keen to keep the 33-year-old at Goodison Park because of the full-back’s experience and the contributions he has made at Everton.

Hence the Spaniard, who hailed Hibbert for keeping high standards in training seasons, explained that discussions are already under way with him over a contract extension.


“Tony Hibbert, we're already sitting down and we want to share how Tony feels and how that conversation is going to go because in my eyes Tony has got a lot to offer at Everton still and we need to make sure that (the talks reach) a positive outcome,” Martinez explained to his club’s official site.

“Maybe in a couple of a key moments, he's picked up a couple of injuries that have stopped him playing more but I do value his contribution at the club and his experience and I would love to keep a character like Tony Hibbert, who means so much to us.

“He's played such a significant role and sometimes the fans don't see that. Sometimes you can get mislead because you don't see a player playing week in and week out and you can feel that they don't have a major role in the football club.

“Tony has had a few niggles this season but in terms of his day-to-day work, he's been magnificent and I'd go as far as saying he's been paramount in keeping really strong standards in our training sessions, in making sure that the group was ready, helping out the youngsters and every time he has played he has performed well.”

Hibbert is a product of Everton’s youth set-up and made his first team debut for the club in a Premier League game against West Ham United in March, 2001.

He has thus far amassed 304 appearances in all competitions for the Merseyside club.

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