Middlesbrough defender Justin Hoyte has agreed a new two-year deal with the club.
The 27-year-old has been training with his Boro team-mates despite his contract expiring at the end of last season.
However, the former Arsenal full-back insists it was only a matter of time until he put pen to paper on an extended deal.
"Middlesbrough is a fantastic club and I have really enjoyed my time here. The North East is now my second home and I feel very settled in the area," Hoyte told the club's official website.
"It's great to get everything signed and now I can concentrate on the new season. I really believe we can make a strong challenge this season and I'm looking forward to playing my part.
"We have a lot of new faces and there is a great atmosphere in the dressing room. There is competition throughout the whole squad and that will drive everyone on to do well."