Belgian midfielder Marouane Fellaini has signed a five-year contract with Everton, leaving Standard Liege to join the Premier League side. The 20-year-old agreed a deal worth £15 million, which makes him the most expensive transfer in Belgian footballing history and sets a new club record for the Toffess.
The deal was completed leading up to the midnight transfer deadline and announced in the early hours. It was preceded by the arrivals of Louis Saha and Carlo Nash from Manchester United and Wigan Athletic respectively.
Acting chief executive Robert Elstone told Everton's official website: "This is fantastic news for everyone connected with the club. We have signed one of European football's most exciting prospects, who will have a huge part to play at Everton over the next five years.
"I spoke with Bill Kenwright and David Moyes shortly after concluding the deal and they are delighted we have managed to secure his services. It came late on, like a lot of the big deals in the Premier League, but he's with us and we look forward to welcoming him to Goodison."
Fellaini joined Standard, Everton's forthcoming opponents in the first round of the UEFA Cup, two years ago and made 84 appearances for the Belgian champions, scoring 11 times. He has also played ten times for Belgium and represented his country at the Men's Olympic Football Tournament in Beijing, where he was sent off in the opening game for two yellow cards against Brazil.
Fellaini impressed during last week's UEFA Champions League qualifier against Liverpool, when the English club snatched a 1-0 win. The towering midfielder can also operate in defence.
Everton earlier signed 30-year-old Frenchman Saha on a two-year deal with an option for a third year. The striker, whose spell at Old Trafford was beset by injuries, has 18 international caps and scored 42 goals during his United spell.
Nash, 34, signed a similar deal also for an undisclosed fee. "I have known of Everton's interest for the last couple of weeks and there have been a few sleepless nights hoping it would go through," he said. "Finally it has and I am over the moon."