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Page last updated at 20:53 GMT, Tuesday, 1 September 2009 21:53 UK

Everton seal 6m Heitinga signing

Johnny Heitinga
Heitinga will reinforce an Everton defence that has lost Joleon Lescott

Everton have completed the signing of Netherlands defender Johnny Heitinga from Atletico Madrid for a fee of £6m, which could rise to £7m.

The 25-year-old penned a five-year deal at Goodison Park after agreeing personal terms and passing a medical.

"We are pleased the deal has been completed," Toffees chief executive Robert Elstone told the club's website.

"He is a very experienced player and David Moyes is looking forward to getting him started."

Heitinga has scored six goals in 47 appearances for his country and can play at centre-back and right-back.

A graduate of the Ajax academy, he made his senior debut at 17 and established himself as a regular for the Amsterdam club.


Heitinga, who played alongside Everton's Steven Pienaar at Ajax for five years, is excited about the challenge.

"It's a nice club and a club with a big history. I saw a lot of Everton games last season and they have a strong team," he said.

"I spoke with the manager earlier and the feelings were good."

Heitinga helped the Amsterdam club win the Eredivisie title twice and the KNVB Cup three times, and was voted the Netherlands' player of the year in 2008 before joining Atletico that summer on a five-year contract.

Everton were keen to reinforce their defence having sold central defender Joleon Lescott to Manchester City for about £22m and given that Phil Jagielka is still sidelined with a knee injury.

They also signed defender Sylvain Distin, 31, from Portsmouth on a three-year deal for an undisclosed fee on Friday, plus Russia midfielder Diniyar Bilyaletdinov, 24, from Lokomotiv Moscow for an again undisclosed fee three days earlier.

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see also
Moyes hoping for two more players
30 Aug 09 |  Everton
Everton 2-1 Wigan
30 Aug 09 |  Premier League
Premier League as it happened
30 Aug 09 |  Football
Everton conclude deal for Distin
28 Aug 09 |  Everton
Bilyaletdinov seals Everton move
25 Aug 09 |  Everton

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