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Everton finally seal Barry deal

Midfielder joins permanently after last season's loan.

Paul Thomas

At last, a signing!

Everton have finally dipped their toe in this summer's transfer market by completing the permanent signing of Gareth Barry.

The midfielder had a successful loan spell at the club last season and was a free agent when his Manchester City contract expired earlier this summer.

However, under the terms of the loan deal City would still be owed a fee should the 33-year-old go on and make a permanent move to Goodison.

The length of the deal appeared to be the sticking point with Barry keen on a longer term contract. There was also reported interest from West Ham United and also New York City, the new MLS franchise, to make Evertonians sweat.

But with Roberto Martinez back from Brazil one of his first tasks was to tie up the loose ends and ensure Barry will be in a blue shirt again next season.

Crticics may suggest that three years is a long contract to give a 33-year-old but despite his age Barry is a crucial cog in the Everton wheel alongside James McCarthy. Together with defenders Phil Jageilka and Sylvain Distin they formed the bedrock of the club's success last year and his signing - or a like-for-like replacement - was a priority.

The deal also frees up another loan spot in the squad, with Martinez already confirming he intends to boost the numbers with as many temporary signings as possible before the window shuts.

After a relatively quiet summer so far lets hope the Barry gets things going on the transfer front ahead of another busy and exciting season.