Everton sign Gylfi Sigurdsson ahead of Europa League qualifier
Uefa Europa League play-off round, first leg: Eveerton v Hajduk Split (Thursday, 8.05pm)
EVERTON have completed the club-record signing of Gylfi Sigurdsson from Swansea, for a fee believed to be around £45million.
The 27-year-old Iceland midfielder has put pen to paper on a five-year contract and becomes the Toffees' eighth summer arrival.
"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."
Sigurdsson said the prospect of working with Everton boss Ronald Koeman was one of the main reasons for switching to Goodison Park.
"He was a great player, one of the top players of his time," Sigurdsson added.
"Now he is a really good manager and his vision for Everton is clear. He has built up a really good squad here, with strong players, both young and experienced.
"This was a key factor for me. Ultimately, that is a dream of mine and everyone at this club. I know the supporters and players would agree with that."
Sigurdsson began his professional career in England with Reading and joined German side Hoffenheim in 2010.
He moved on loan to Swansea at the start of 2012 and joined Tottenham in a £6.8million deal six months later, before returning to south Wales in 2014.
Sigurdsson, Swansea's player of the year for the past two seasons, has made 50 appearances for Iceland and played a key role in their run to the Euro 2016 quarter-finals.
His proposed move has dragged on for much of the summer, with Swansea initially valuing their star man at £50million.
Finally securing him now, at a slightly lower price, takes Everton's spending since the end of last season to over £130million.
Sigurdsson follows the likes of Jordan Pickford, Michael Keane, Davy Klaassen and Sandro Ramirez as another multi-million-pound acquisition, while the club also secured the free transfer arrival of Wayne Rooney.
Sigurdsson, who scored nine goals and provided 13 assists in the league last term, pulled out of Swansea's pre-season tour to the United States after Everton's interest became clear.
He rejoined first-team training upon Swansea's return from the States but did not figure in their Premier League opener at Southampton on Saturday.
Sigurdsson will not feature in Thursday's Europa League play-off against Hajduk Split at Goodison Park, but Koeman indicated he could make his Everton debut in Monday's league clash with Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium.
"He will not be involved (on Thursday)," Koeman said. "Maybe for Monday, I do not know. I need to talk to him and know what his physical state is. Let's wait to see how the fitness is."
Koeman said Everton are waiting to learn the severity of an apparent hamstring problem suffered by Ross Barkley.
Reports have suggested Barkley, whose future with the club remains unclear, is facing six weeks out due to a hamstring tear.
Asked about that, Koeman said: "He stopped training, I think it was last Monday. It looks like a hamstring injury but we need to do more tests ... to know exactly what the injury is. We need to wait."
Midfielder Barkley, who is entering the last year of his contract, appears destined to leave the club having turned down the offer of a new deal.
He has been linked with a move to Tottenham, but Koeman said last week there had been no offers for the England international.
Koeman, who has let midfielder Gareth Barry join West Brom, also signalled he would like to strengthen in the current transfer window beyond the capture of Sigurdsson.
He added on Wednesday: "Still we are looking in two positions to make the squad even stronger than it is at this stage."
Meanwhile, Hajduk boss Joan Carrillo has acknowledged Everton's strength ahead of Thursday's European clash, but feels there are weaknesses his team can take advantage of.
"All the games with this team, we play to win," Carrillo said at a pre-match press conference.
"I do not have another method or philosophy.
"I know Everton have a very good team. They are in the Premier League. And we are talking about signing one player for 50 million euros. But football is 11 against 11.
"We know the good things of Everton but also the bad things, and we have worked on this.
"I am an optimist. We will see - (on Thursday, it) is 11 against 11."