Everton signs Pickford and Klaassen for $70 million

ABS-CBN Sports on Jun 16, 2017 07:33 AM
Everton signs Pickford and Klaassen for $70 million
Ajax's Davy Klaassen walks past the trophy at the end of the soccer Europa League final between Ajax Amsterdam and Manchester United at the Friends Arena in Stockholm, Sweden, Wednesday, May 24, 2017. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

LIVERPOOL, England (AP) — Everton spent nearly $70 million to buy Sunderland goalkeeper Jordan Pickford and Ajax captain Davy Klaassen on Thursday (Friday, PHL time), showing its financial clout as the club looks to narrow the gap to the big six in the Premier League.

Pickford joined for a club-record fee that could rise to 30 million pounds ($38.3 million), making him third most expensive goalkeeper of all time, while Everton's Dutch coach Ronald Koeman has brought in attacking midfielder Klaassen for 27 million euros ($31 million).

Both players have signed five-year deals.

The 23-year-old Pickford stays in the top-flight following Sunderland's relegation from the Premier League last season.

Pickford has only had one full season at senior level, having represented England at every level from Under-16s to Under-21s. He received his first call-up to England's senior squad in October.

Among goalkeepers, only Juventus star Gianluigi Buffon and Ederson — who recently joined Manchester City from Benfica — have cost more.

Klaassen was a key player in the Ajax team that reached the Europa League final last season under coach Peter Bosz, who has also left the Dutch club to join Borussia Dortmund this offseason.

A 24-year-old Dutch international, Klaassen told Everton's website that he made his decision after talking to Koeman a few weeks ago.

"The moment that I spoke with the manager directly I got a good feeling," Klaassen said. "He's an honest guy, we talked about the club, about the way he wants to play and that gave me a positive feeling. It's difficult to leave Ajax, but I think this is a good step for me now and I'm really looking forward to my time here."

Also in the Premier League, Leicester signed center back Harry Maguire for a reported 17 million pounds ($21.7 million) from Hull, which was relegated along with Sunderland last season.

The 24-year-old Maguire, who had 12 months remaining on his contract at Hull, joined on a five-year deal. He becomes the club's first signing since Craig Shakespeare agreed to a three-year deal as fulltime Leicester manager last week.

Maguire will challenge Robert Huth and Wes Morgan, Leicester's title-winning center backs from the 2015-16 season, for a starting spot.

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