Everton clinch Heitinga deal
David Moyes clinched the last-ditch signing of Holland defender Johnny Heitinga to complete the busiest-ever transfer window in his seven years at Everton.
Having finally sold Joleon Lescott for £24m to Manchester City, Goodison Park boss Moyes has now spent virtually all of that money boosting his squad. He tied up the season-long loan move of Brazilian striker Jo, then Russian winger Diniyar Bilyaletdinov for £10m. Sylvain Distin arrived from Portsmouth for £5m, with finally Heitinga making the switch from La Liga.
Heitinga had been a tough deal to conclude. His wage demands, believed to be around £40,000 a week, were a stumbling block and the now former Atletico Madrid man had intimated that he wanted to stay in Spain. But Moyes and chairman Bill Kenwright were persistent, and Heitinga was flown by private jet into Merseyside around lunch-time for a medical and discussions on personal terms.
Everton and Atletico had agreed a fee over the weekend, and the indication was that the Madrid club wanted the money. Heitinga delayed linking up with the Dutch squad, preparing for Saturday's friendly with Japan, and finally signed a five-year contract an hour before the deadline.
Everton have paid £6.2m, which could rise to £7m on appearances. Heitinga returned to John Lennon Airport for a flight to Amsterdam to join up with his international colleagues.
Everton chief executive Robert Elstone said: "We are pleased the deal has been completed to get John into Everton. He is a very experienced player having played at both Ajax and Atletico Madrid and I know David Moyes is looking forward to getting him started."
Heitinga arrives in the Premier League as one of Netherlands' most experienced defenders, racking up nearly 50 caps and occasionally captaining his country. He can play at both his preferred central-defensive role and at right-back, having fulfilled both positions successfully for his country.
A graduate of Ajax's academy, he made his senior debut at 17 and went on to establish himself as a regular for the Amsterdam side, spending five years playing alongside Steven Pienaar before the South African left for Borussia Dortmund.
During his time in the Low Countries, Heitinga won the Eredivisie twice and the Dutch Cup three times. He was voted Netherlands' player of the year in 2008 and went on to join Atletico from Ajax that summer for a fee of €10m euros.