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EVERTON FC want to keep midfielder Thomas Hitzlsperger for the rest of the season.
The former German international has made seven appearances for David Moyes’ men since joining on a short-term deal in October.
Moyes originally signed the ex-Aston Villa and West Ham player to provide cover in the absence of first choice central midfielder Darron Gibson, and with Gibson’s injury woes ongoing he is prepared to extend his Goodison stay.
The ECHO understands Hitzlsperger, 30, who is currently out of contract after his initial deal expired on January 1, is likely to be offered terms until May, with the player then facing the decision whether to remain on Merseyside or pursue options back in Germany where Bundesliga club Eintracht Frankfurt are reportedly interested in him.
Hitzlsperger, who has 52 Germany caps, has previously spoken of how happy he is at Goodison and insisted he wants to keep playing in the Premier League.
Another Toffees midfielder loving life in the Everton engine room is Leon Osman, who insists he “still feels 21”.
Osman, who celebrates the 10th anniversary of his Everton debut when Swansea visit Goodison Park, said he wants to play on as long as possible.
He said: “I feel like I'm 21. I feel young and good and hopefully I'm going to continue to feel like that and continue to play in the first team.
“I'm delighted to have achieved 10 years. It's something that you want to do – you grow up wanting to play for Everton. Not only have I done that now, I've done it for a decade. I'm thrilled.
“Hard work and always trying to do what the manager tells me are the main things. If he's got a job that he needs doing, whether I like it or not, I'll try and do it. The manager's still here and he obviously appreciates the fact that I try to do a job for him.
“It would be great to mark it (his anniversary) with a win. It's not only that it's going to be a nice occasion for me, it's important that we pick up the three points and stay on the tails of the top four.”