Ex-Ireland youth footballer Michael Keane completes sensational £30million move to Everton

Ex-Ireland youth footballer Michael Keane completes sensational £30million move to Everton

FORMER Republic of Ireland youth international Michael Keane has moved from Burnley to Everton for a club record-equaling £30million.

The central defender, who has four caps for Ireland at U17 and U19 level, has agreed a five-year contract with the Blues to the end of June 2022.

The 24-year-old was born in Stockport, Greater Manchester to Irish parents and came through Manchester United’s famed academy as a youngster.

He made the switch to the England set up at U19 level in 2012 and made his international debut earlier this year.

Keane becomes Everton’s fifth signing of the summer transfer window, following the arrivals of England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, Dutch international Davy Klaassen, former Barcelona striker Sandro Ramirez and Henry Onyekuru.

“I’m absolutely delighted to be at Everton, a fantastic football club with passionate fans and a great tradition and I can’t wait to come into training tomorrow to meet all the lads,” Keane said.

“First and foremost, the manager was a big factor in me coming to the Club. He played in my position when he was a world-class player for a great Barcelona side and a great Dutch side and the style of football he likes to play will suit me, I believe.

“I watched a lot of Everton last season and I believe I really suit how the team likes to play. I feel like this is a great place to come and continue my development as a player.

“He’s convinced me that he can still improve me in certain areas of my game. I’m only 24 which, for a centre-half in the Premier League, is relatively young. I’ve still got a long way to go and I know this and hopefully under his guidance I’ll keep improving.

“You always want to play for a manager who believes in you. I wanted to come somewhere I was wanted by the staff, players and fans as well. I feel like Everton is the perfect match.”

For Everton manager Ronald Koeman, bringing Keane to Everton was one of his biggest priorities of the summer.

“Michael was high among the players we wanted to bring to Everton this summer and I'm delighted he is here at the Club,” Koeman said.

"We knew there would be competition from other clubs but Michael believes in the ambition of Everton and what we want to do and this is the perfect moment for him to come.

"I believe there is much more to come from Michael and that's what makes his signing really exciting for me - we will see his development as a player along with the progression overall within the Club.

"It's another really positive sign of the direction the Club is moving in. He's 24 years old, his best years are to come, he's an England international, too, and I couldn't be more pleased that he's now a Blue."