English Premiership

Arnautovic extends Stoke stay

Marko Arnautovic (AP)
Marko Arnautovic (AP)

London - Marko Arnautovic has signed a new four-year contract with Stoke City, scotching rumours the Austria international was set for a move to Premier League rivals Everton.

Arnautovic, 27, was Stoke's top-scorer last season and has become a popular figure with Potters' fans since joining the Midlands club from Germany's Werder Bremen in 2013.

Austria's group-stage exit at Euro 2016 would not have harmed Stoke's hopes of keeping hold of Arnautovic, who had one year left on his previous contract.

Writing on his Instagram page on Wednesday, Arnautovic - who also posted a photograph of his contract signing - said: "I am proud and thrilled to finally let you know I am going to remain a Potter and will continue playing with my team and for my fantastic fans.

"I suppose sometimes it takes a bit longer to make the right decision and this one comes from my heart. My family and I could not be happier. Can't wait for the season to begin!"

Stoke chief executive Tony Scholes added: "We are delighted that Marko has decided to commit his long-term future to the club.

"It has been a lengthy process but these things often are. Marko is settled in England and very happy at Stoke City which is why he has taken the decision to re-sign for a further four years."

He added: "It's a major boost to us as we prepare for the new season."

Arnautovic's new deal comes in a week where Stoke have signed Wales midfielder Joe Allen from Liverpool and also brought in winger Ramadan Sobhi from Egyptian club Al Ahly.

Stoke finished ninth in the table last term, a place above deposed champions Chelsea.