Celtic midfielder Beram Kayal is delighted to have signed a new contract with the Scottish giants and insists that he never wanted to leave the club.
The 23-year-old put pen to paper on an extended deal with the Glasgow outfit on Tuesday that will see him remain at Parkhead until the end of the 2014/15 campaign.
Kayal, who joined Celtic from Maccabi Haifa in the summer of 2010, is overjoyed to have committed his future to the Bhoys and stresses that he never wanted to leave despite rumours suggesting to that effect.
Happy and proud
"When I came here last season, I said I was happy to come to such a big club and now I say I'm very happy to stay here," the Israel international told Celtic's official website.
"There were a lot of rumours last summer, but I'm here and I'm happy to stay here.
"I never said I wanted to leave Celtic. I always said I wanted to stay as I like the club and the people here, and I want to prove a lot to this club and the fans.
"The fans are important for me. I like them and they like me and this gives me energy to play and give everything for them.
"I feel happy and proud to stay here. The manager wanted me here and I always said I wanted to stay. There were rumours that another club wanted me but I never thought about leaving.
"The gaffer (Neil Lennon) and the people at the club spoke with me in April and May, and I said before the season finishes that I wanted to stay here and sign a new contract," further explained Kayal on his decision to extend the contract that was originally due to expire in 2014.
"It's taken a lot of time because there have been a lot of breaks for the national team and two or three times I have been injured: I have broken my nose, twisted my ankle with the national team, and this deal has taken a lot of time.
"But now I'm very happy my agent has finished everything and now I can just focus on football.
"I think it's important for me to clear my mind and just focus on football as when I go outside the club, people have been asking me about the contract as everyone saw the rumours and people kept asking me if I'm leaving or not.
"I always said I just want to play football and enjoy my job and I want to do that now.
"It's better for me to do that when I'm happy and I can just focus on my football and my job."