Sunderland defender Phil Bardsley has signed a new long-term contract that will keep him with Steve Bruce's team until the end of the 2013-14 campaign.
The 25-year-old Scotland international's previous deal was due to expire at the end of this season but he has produced some of the best performances of his career this term.
Bruce said:"Obviously there's a decision myself and the board have had to make and, to be fair to Phil, he's done very, very well.
"The last thing we wanted to do was to let Phil run into a Bosman situation. He has played his part, he is a valuable member of the squad and he has been rewarded for that."
Bardsley added:"I'm delighted to be able to stay. Talks have been ongoing over the last couple of weeks and I'm really pleased to be here for the next three-and-a-half years.
"It's a club which I enjoy being at, I love living up here, the lads and everything about being here. Being part of the manager's plans is great and I'm enjoying my football."
Bardsley has made 81 appearances for the Black Cats, having started his career at Manchester United.