Everton boss David Moyes seals deal for Marouane Fellaini

By Ian Doyle on Sep 2, 08 09:04 AM in Journalists

DAVID MOYES has ended a summer of frustration by shattering Everton's transfer record to sign Standard Liege midfielder Marouane Fellaini.

The Goodison outfit beat the midnight transfer deadline by capturing the highly-rated Belgium international on a five-year contract for a club record amount of £13million.

The deal was still to be rubber-stamped when the Daily Post went to press in the early hours of this morning.

But Everton are confident the transfer will go through for a fee that eclipses the £11.25m they splashed out to sign Yakubu from Middlesbrough 12 months ago.

Earlier in the day, Everton had completed the signing of Louis Saha from Manchester United and veteran Wigan Athletic goalkeeper Carlo Nash.

But the Goodison side failed in their attempt to take Inter Milan's Nigerian international winger Victor Obinna on loan after their work permit appeal was rejected.

Moyes was in Liege on Sunday night to check on Everton's forthcoming UEFA Cup opponents and also run the rule over Fellaini.

The 20-year-old defensive midfielder had been earmarked as a replacement for the departed Lee Carsley.

Fellaini was part of the Standard team that won Belgium's Jupiler League last season and caught the eye with a brace of impressive performances against Liverpool in their Champions League qualifier last month.

Fellaini has won 10 caps and scored one goal for Belgium, and also appeared at the recent Olympic Games in Beijing before being flown home especially for Standard's tie against Liverpool.

Also incoming is Saha, who underwent a medical at the weekend and has officially moved from Manchester United for a fee ultimately dependent on the number of appearances made.

The 30-year-old has signed a two-year deal with the option for a third year, and will wear the number nine shirt.

Saha will have to wait at least another fortnight to make his Everton debut as he recovers from a groin strain sustained in training.

And the French striker said: "I am very happy to be here. It is a big club with big, big support. I think it is a club which is trying to reach the top."

Saha won't be joined by fellow striker Obinna at Goodison. Moyes and Everton chairman Bill Kenwright were part of a club contingent that attended an appeal hearing in London yesterday after the initial work permit for the 21-year-old Inter winger was rejected.

Moyes had been aware of the potential work permit problems that could scupper the proposed season-long loan, and the issues were ultimately insurmountable.

Ian Ross, Everton's Head of PR and External Affairs, confirmed: "Chairman Bill Kenwright, manager David Moyes and club secretary David Harrison all attended the hearing in London and despite making a strong case the appeal was rejected on the basis that the player fell some way short of the required criteria (of international experience)."

Everton were more successful in pushing through the transfer of Nash from Wigan for around £200,000.

Moyes has spent all summer seeking experienced cover for first-choice goalkeeper Tim Howard before electing to pursue the experienced Nash.

The 34-year-old has made 274 appearances in a nomadic career that has included stints at Crystal Palace, Manchester City, Stockport County, Preston North End and Stoke City, but is cup-tied for the Carling Cup having played in Wigan's 4-0 defeat of Notts County last week.

"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," said Nash.

"Finally it has and I am over the moon."

Having seen their pursuit of Sporting Lisbon midfielder Joao Moutinho finally flounder yesterday, Everton were quick to distance themselves from rumours of interest in Newcastle United's controversial midfielder Joey Barton.

And there were claims Moyes failed in a bid of around £3.5million for Reading's Republic of Ireland international midfielder Stephen Hunt.

A number of former Everton targets were on the move yesterday.

Valencia's Serbia international striker Nikola Zigic opted for a season-long loan switch to La Liga rivals Racing Santander, while Real Zaragoza's Diego Milito was reportedly on the brink of a return to Italian side Genoa.

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