Everton have completed the signing of highly rated England U21 goalkeeper, Jordan Pickford on a club record fee.
The goalkeeper signed a five-year contract on Thursday after Everton moved swiftly to secure their first-choice option for the manager, Ronald Koeman.
A £25m fee which is expected to reach £30m was agreed with Sunderland, representing a record sum for Everton and making Pickford Britain’s most expensive keeper, before the 23-year-old passed a medical on Wednesday.
The England Under-21 international had wanted to delay a decision on his future until after the European Championship, which begins for Aidy Boothroyd’s team against Sweden on Friday, but Everton wasted no time in completing the deal for the coveted player.
Arsenal had also been linked with the boyhood Sunderland fan, the club’s most sale-able asset following relegation to the Championship.
Pickford becomes the third most expensive goalkeeper of all time. Only Ederson, who this month joined Manchester City from Benfica, and Juventus’s Gianluigi Buffon have moved in that position for higher fees.
Pickford told Everton’s website: “Last season was my first in the Premier League so to get this opportunity with Everton now, to be able to go forward with my career and show everyone what I can do with Everton is unbelievable.
It’s a great club, a massive club and I think it’s a great opportunity and the right time for me to come to Everton and show what I can do.”
Koeman was anxious to sign a new No1 following indifferent campaigns from Joel Robles and Maarten Stekelenburg last season. He is likely to be the first of several acquisitions by Everton this summer.
Davy Klaassen, the Ajax captain, could be the next arrival, with Everton close to a deal worth around £25m with the Europa League finalists for the playmaker.
The club are also awaiting a decision from Málaga’s striker Sandro Ramírez, who held talks with club officials on Sunday, and the Burnley defender Michael Keane and Swansea City’s Gylfi Sigurdsson are also in Everton’s sights.