Danny Mills has insisted it was “vitally important” Everton secured director of football Marcel Brands to a new contract.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-England defender, whose son is a member of the Everton academy, revealed he had “dealt” with Brands previously and was left very impressed.

The 59-year-old’s previous contract was set to expire at the end of the season but the club announced this week his new deal will expire in 2024.

Brands has been at Goodison Park since the summer of 2018 and joined the club’s board in January of the following year.

Football Insider revealed earlier this year owner Farhad Moshiri will back Brands and Carlo Ancelotti to spend big in the summer, regardless of a top-four finish.

Asked for his reaction to the news Brands had been handed a new deal, Mills told Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley: “It’s definitely the right thing to do.

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“I think Marcel Brands has been very, very good for Everton.

“I’ve dealt with him, I’ve spoken to him on a few occasions.

“It’s really important we see leadership at the top. We’ve seen what’s happened at Manchester United or Arsenal’s recruitment and contract situations.

“It’s vitally important to get it right and realise the importance of the role they play in the club and in the game.

“I’m not surprised Everton have tied him down at all.”

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Speaking to the club’s website Brands called Everton “a very special football club and a club with clear and exciting ambitions”.

He added: “We are making good progress and I believe we have everything in place for us to be successful.”

In other news, a European giant have opened talks to sign and exit-bound Everton first-teamer.