Simon Francis signs contract extension to stay at Bournemouth

Simon Francis has signed a contract extension to keep him at Bournemouth until 2020, the Premier League club have announced.

The skipper, who has played close to 300 times for the Cherries, had 12 months to run on his existing deal, but has agreed terms to stay for an extra year.

He told the club's official website: "I'm delighted to sign a new deal and am really looking forward to the next two years."

Defender Francis, who joined the club from Charlton in 2011 and played in League One and the Championship, featured 34 times last season as Eddie Howe's men ensured a fourth season in the Premier League.

He added: "The most important thing was to retain our Premier League status for another year and then once that was achieved it was a chance to sit down and discuss things.

"It all happened fairly quickly because negotiations don't take too long when a player wants to stay at the club.

"The club have been great with me ever since I arrived. I feel I've performed to my best over the past seven years and feel very proud to be part of such a successful squad."

Chief executive Neill Blake added: "Simon is an integral part of the club, both on and off the pitch.

"He has proved himself more than capable of making the step up each time we have gained promotion, and this contract extension is fully deserved.

"As well as being an excellent player, Simon is also an outstanding professional and a leader in the dressing room.

"He sets a fantastic example to those around him and that is especially important for the younger players at the club."