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Last Updated: Thursday, 4 August 2005, 15:24 GMT 16:24 UK
Everton wrap up Neville signing
Phil Neville
This has been the most difficult decision I have ever had to make
Everton have completed the signing of Phil Neville from Manchester United.

The 28-year-old has signed a five-year deal at Goodison Park after the two clubs agreed a fee in excess of 3m.

"We are delighted to have concluded a deal with a player of Phil's calibre and vast experience," Toffees boss David Moyes told the club's website.

"Primarily I see him as a holding midfield player but he gives us much-needed cover and also several additional options."

Neville will be available for Everton's Champions League third-round qualifier against Villarreal on Tuesday.

Moyes has endured a summer of mounting frustration in the transfer market and was relieved to seal the deal for Neville.

"We have staved off a great deal of competition to get him," he said.

"Several clubs were interested in signing him but I must say from the first minute I spoke to him he only wanted to come to Everton."

Neville made 386 appearances during his 18-year United career and won 52 England caps.

However, after starting only 12 games last season, the utility player felt the time was right to leave.

"This has been the most difficult decision I have ever had to make," he told Manchester United's website.

"But I am excited about joining Everton and relishing my next challenge in football.

This was not a decision we wanted to make
Sir Alex Ferguson

"This was a mutual decision between myself and the manager (Sir Alex Ferguson).

"I've spent 18 years of my life at the club and I would like to thank Sir Alex, all the players and the fans for their great support.

"I am now going to give the same commitment to Everton, David Moyes and the Everton fans. I can't wait for the new season to get started."

United manager Ferguson said: "This was not a decision we wanted to make, but every time I picked the team and Phil's name was not on the teamsheet, it was very difficult for me.

"You couldn't meet a better professional and he leaves with the gratitude of everyone at the the club for his service to United.

"I wish all the best to Phil and his family."

News conference: Phil Neville


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