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By ESPN Staff
Aug 7, 2007

Baines completes five-year Everton move

Leighton Baines returned to Everton today after being rejected as a schoolboy by the club 10 years ago, with boss David Moyes describing him as a player 'for now and for the future'.

Baines, 22, has arrived from Wigan, costing Everton £5million now with another £1million from potential add-ons.

It ends a year-long chase by Moyes for the England Under-21 full-back - born in Kirkby - who has supported Everton all his life.

He is the second player Everton have signed this summer who was shown the door as a youngster, Phil Jagielka having been signed from Sheffield United for £4million, indeed both players were discarded by the Toffees in the same week 10 years ago.

Baines agreed personal terms at the weekend and his arrival was confirmed today after he had passed a medical.

However, Baines is unlikely to make his debut on Saturday at home to his former club Wigan due to a hamstring injury.

Moyes said: 'We are pleased to have him. It is a signing for now and it is also a signing for the future.

'Leighton is someone that we have been after for a long time and he is someone who will give good competition to our squad.

'We see him as a left-back. We already have Nuno Valente to play there and Joleon Lescott can cover in that position, but we really want him (Lescott) to be a central defender.

'We needed to add to our squad after we sold Gary Naysmith to Sheffield United. Leighton is a young player and he fits in with our policy of trying to buy good British players if we can.

'And he is a big Evertonian. We have been impressed by him and the reports that we have had about him over the past 12 months have been good.

'He really came to prominence last season and has done well in the Premier League and at the European Under-21 Championships, so that was a big factor.'

Baines has signed a five-year contract after turning down a move to Sunderland and opting for Everton ahead of Newcastle, who are believed to have offered him higher wages.

Baines becomes Everton's third signing of the summer, following Jagielka and the season-long loan signing of Steven Pienaar from Borussia Dortmund.

Baines told evertonTV: 'I am very happy now it is all done and I am looking forward to getting on with it all here. People knew this was the place I wanted to come and I am glad now that it is all done.

'I am a local lad and all my family support Everton so it's good to be here at last.'

Everton will now step up their pursuit of Porto midfielder Lucho Gonzalez, the 26-year-old Argentina international. They are reported to have made a £10million bid. Valencia, Juventus and Lyon are also interested.