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Last Updated: Monday, 1 September, 2003, 18:07 GMT 19:07 UK
McFadden signs for Everton
By Phil McNulty
Chief football writer

Everton have completed a 1.25m deal for Scotland striker James McFadden from Motherwell.

McFadden is joining Everton

The 20-year-old travelled to Goodison Park on Monday evening for a medical after the Scottish Premier League club accepted an improved offer before England's transfer deadline.

McFadden, whose last act at Fir Park was to score two superb goals against Partick Thistle on Saturday, said: "I am delighted that it has been sorted out but a bit nervous about joining such a big club.

"It has been a hectic time and I am just looking forward to getting back to playing football."

It was difficult to let James McFadden go, but it was basically an offer we couldn't refuse
Motherwell spokesman

McFadden, who will return to Scotland as the national squad prepares for their forthcoming Euro 2004 qualifiers, will now join Francis Jeffers and Nigel Martyn at Goodison as boss David Moyes re-shapes his squad.

Moyes had earlier suffered disappointment with several bids, including one for Rangers captain Barry Ferguson, and said: "We decided that, since we couldn't get the ready-made article, it was time to go for someone who we can develop into a good player.

"We are not bringing him here thinking that he will become an Everton player next weekend, although I will be delighted if he does, but he is one for the future."

Dundee had earlier upped their bid to 850,000 for McFadden, while Celtic had an attempt on Friday to take the youngster on loan rejected out of hand.

"He is an exciting talent with great ability, nobody has that in question," said Moyes.

"I think a lot of people have looked at him and wondered what's his best position, where he should play and about a temperament that is a little bit fiery, but I would rather it was a little bit fiery than not fiery at all."

Motherwell had rejected a number of offers despite being in administration, angering sacked players still waiting to be offered any compensation.

But Everton's was the first to top 1m and is understood to include further payments if McFadden is a success in the Premiership.

A Motherwell spokesman said: "It was difficult to let him go, but it was basically an offer we couldn't refuse.

"There are various elements to the payment, but we wouldn't discuss the details of the arrangement between Motherwell and Everton."

Celtic's offer to take him on a year-long loan even left the player and his agent, John Lonergan, stunned.

Last season's Uefa Cup finalists never even offered Motherwell any future cash incentive - something that may further anger those Celtic fans who believe that their board should have released more funds for signings.


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