The defender insists he is happy with life at Goodison Park and believes David Moyes' side can secure European football for next season after a strong start to the new campaignEXCLUSIVE
By Jesse Wieten
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 under 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 have enjoyed a strong start to the season and currently sit fourth in the Premier League after securing 14 points from seven games.
| EVERTON LATEST
|11/2||Everton are 11/2 to finish in the top four with bet365
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 semi-final 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."
Heitinga admits he would like to finish career with Ajax, the club who he started with but the defender is unsure whether a move will materialise.
"When? I don't have a clue. There's just one club I want to play for in Holland - Ajax," he said.
"Something else is excluded. By that time, both parties must see what we can do for each other."