‘Delighted’ Keane’s £30m Everton deal

Michael Keane last night completed his move to Everton in a deal which could rise to a club record-equalling £30m (€34.1m).

The 24-year-old Burnley defender has signed a five-year deal and becomes the club’s fifth summer signing after Jordan Pickford, Davy Klaassen, Henry Onyekuru and Sandro Ramirez, whose move from Malaga was also announced yesterday.

Everton announced the news via their official Twitter account, posting: “We’ve signed Michael Keane on a five-year deal for a fee which could rise to a club-record £30m (€34.1m).”

Keane was delighted to have secured his move and the chance to work under Toffees boss Ronald Koeman, a stylish defender with Barcelona and the Netherlands during his own distinguished playing career.

He said: “I’m absolutely delighted to be at Everton, a fantastic football club with passionate fans and a great tradition and I can’t wait to come into training tomorrow to meet all the lads.

“First and foremost, the manager was a big factor in me coming to the club. He played in my position when he was a world-class player for a great Barcelona side and a great Dutch side and the style of football he likes to play will suit me, I believe.

“I watched a lot of Everton last season and I believe I really suit how the team likes to play. I feel like this is a great place to come and continue my development as a player.

“He’s convinced me that he can still improve me in certain areas of my game. I’m only 24 which, for a centre-half in the Premier League, is relatively young.

“I’ve still got a long way to go and I know this and hopefully under his guidance I’ll keep improving.

“You always want to play for a manager who believes in you. I wanted to come somewhere I was wanted by the staff, players and fans as well. I feel like Everton is the perfect match.”

Keane also spoke to Everton’s director of football Steve Walsh, someone he knows from a loan spell at Leicester, before agreeing to the switch.

He added: “I’ve also got to say thanks to the chairman Bill Kenwright — he’s been absolutely fantastic getting the deal through.

“I also spoke with Steve Walsh, who I knew from my time at Leicester four or five years ago, and they really convinced me that this was the place to come and that Everton is the perfect club for me.”

Koeman has invested heavily since guiding the club into seventh place in the Premier League at the end of last season — Keane, Pickford and Klaassen alone could eventually cost the club a total of almost £84m (€95.6m) — but he was prepared to spend big once again to get his hands on a player he believes has enormous potential.

Koeman said: “Michael was high among the players we wanted to bring to Everton this summer and I’m delighted he is here at the club.

“We knew there would be competition from other clubs, but Michael believes in the ambition of Everton and what we want to do and this is the perfect moment for him to come.

“I believe there is much more to come from Michael and that’s what makes his signing really exciting for me — we will see his development as a player along with the progression overall within the club.

“It’s another really positive sign of the direction the club is moving in.

“He’s 24 years old, his best years are to come, he’s an England international too and I couldn’t be more pleased that he’s now a Blue.”


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