- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 16, 2017

LIVERPOOL, England (AP) - Everton has signed Iceland midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson from Swansea for a club-record fee, further strengthening the team’s attacking options to compensate for the departure of striker Romelu Lukaku.

One of the Premier League’s most drawn-out transfers this summer was completed on Wednesday, with the 27-year-old Sigurdsson signing a five-year deal for a transfer fee that British media reported to be 45 million pounds ($58 million). Everton did not reveal the transfer details, saying only that it was a club record. Its previous highest fee was 31.8 million pounds, spent on Lukaku in 2014.

“Hopefully I will continue to create goals and score goals for the team and contribute to the kind of success we’re seeking at the club,” Sigurdsson told Everton’s website.

Wayne Rooney, Sandro Ramirez and Davy Klaassen are other attacking players to have joined Everton since the end of last season, as part of an outlay of around 135 million pounds ($175 million) on new players. The club recouped 75 million pounds ($97 million) in selling Lukaku to Manchester United.

“We lost with Lukaku 25 goals and we need more players than one to get that number of goals,” Everton manager Ronaldo Koeman said. “He (Sigurdsson) is that type of player. He knows the Premier League. He had really good seasons in Swansea, and he is in my opinion in his position one of the best in the Premier League.”

Koeman said Sigurdsson could feature for Everton in its league game at Manchester City on Monday.

Since 2012, when he first moved to the Premier League, no player has scored more goals from direct free kicks than Sigurdsson (seven). He scored nine goals, and set up 13 more, for Swansea last season and scored a total of 30 in three seasons since returning to the Welsh club in 2014.

He was on loan at Swansea for the second half of the 2011-12 season before playing for Everton from 2012-14.

Goalkeeper Jordan Pickford and defender Michael Keane have also moved to Everton in the offseason as the club looks to improve on its seventh-place finish from last season.

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