Everton have confirmed the signing of veteran midfielder Gareth Barry on a permanent basis.
The 33-year-old had spent last season on loan at the Toffees, though they've now snapped him up on a free transfer after he was released by parent club Manchester City. Barry has signed a three-year deal at Goodison Park:
Gareth Barry has become our first signing of the summer, agreeing a 3-year deal. #Barry #efc pic.twitter.com/OwX48HwRAX— Everton (@Everton) July 8, 2014
Everton will no doubt be delighted to have landed Barry, especially with the midfielder having been strongly linked with a move to West Ham United or Aston Villa in the last few days.
Barry established himself as one of the Toffees' most important players last season, with Roberto Martínez handing him 32 Premier League starts in total. His intelligent positioning and slick passing in a defensive midfield role helped his side to a fifth-place finish, and should mean he won't suffer too much from physical decline over the course of his contract.