David Moyes has revealed Everton have opened talks with midfielder Marouane Fellaini over a new contract.
The 23-year-old Belgium international has become a cult figure at Goodison Park since arriving from Standard Liege three years ago, but he has been linked with a host of leading European clubs.
Toffees boss Moyes, though, is hopeful of keeping him on Merseyside, saying: "I think talks have started now, even though I`ve not spoken to Marouane personally about it. He's really important to us, part of the furniture here now, and of course we want him to stay."
He added: "We did it with the likes of (Phil) Jagielka and (Leighton) Baines who are on long-term contracts. We want to keep building on that and obviously Marouane comes into that category.
"In the main, the chairman has done a really good job keeping hold of players, so we`ll see how we go with Marouane, too."
Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.