Everton have completed the long-awaited signing of Gylfi Sigiurdsson from Swansea City in a deal reported to be worth a club-record £40m.
The confirmation comes after weeks of wrangling by the two clubs over the final fee, one that eclipses those paid by the Toffees for Michael Keane and Jordan Pickford earlier this summer and underlines the club's determination to land the Icelandic star.
Sigurdsson travelled to Merseyside last night and underwent a successful medical today before putting his signature to a five-year contract said to be worth £100,000 a week. He will wear the No.18 vacated by Gareth Barry.
Although he started his career at Reading and had loan spells at Crewe and Shrewsbury, Sigurdsson rose to prominence in England after he was signed by then Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas from German club Hoffenheim for £8.8m in 2012 after he had impressed on loan at Swansea.
He would spend two seasons at White Hart Lane without ever being able to hit the heights that his more recent form back at Swansea suggests he should have. He made 58 Premier League appearances for Spurs and scored eight times but eventually returned to South Wales in a permanent deal in 2014 that saw Ben Davies go the other way.
His increasingly impressive performances over two years at Swansea attracted the attention of Ronald Koeman who tried to make him one of his marquee signings after becoming Everton manager in the summer of 2016. A reported £25m bid was turned down and Sigurdsson ended up signing a new contract at the Liberty Stadium instead.
Koeman and director of football Steve Walsh returned this summer, however, determined to land one of their top targets. Swansea's star man and Talisman, who was involved in more than half of their goals last season, Sigurdsson has been brought in to provide more ammunition for the Blues' forward line, with the club still on the lookout for another striker before the transfer deadline.
“Hopefully I will continue to create goals and score goals for the team and contribute to the kind of success we're seeking at the Club,” Sigurdsson told evertontv.
“This is an ambitious club and it is clear we are moving in a really good direction. The most important thing is that this team keeps winning games and climbing the table - and does that throughout the season.
“For myself, I would like to score as many goals as possible and create as many goals for my teammates as I can. These are my targets.
“But it is always the same thing: as long as the team is winning I will be more than happy.”
His new manager was pleased to see a deal a year in the making finally get over the line. While Sigurdsson won't feature in the Europa League first leg against Hajduk Split tomorrow, he could be in the frame to make his debut against Manchester City on Monday night.
“I'm really happy because the Board and especially our Chairman, Bill Kenwright, did everything to get him. It took some time but finally we have signed the player,” Koeman said.
“In my opinion, in his position he is one of the best in the Premier League. We have the player here and that's really good for the team.”