Europe the attraction for Yakubu in Everton move

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The Independent Online

Ayegbeni Yakubu, the man who has scored more Premier League goals over the last four seasons than anyone bar Thierry Henry, sealed his £11.25m transfer from Middlesbrough to Everton yesterday when the Home Office granted him a work permit.

Everton agreed the terms of the transfer with both the player and Middlesbrough a week ago, but his move was delayed when the Home Office refused to grant the Nigerian striker the necessary permit after Yakubu failed to meet the department's criteria for international appearances over the last two years.

However, following an appeal hearing in Sheffield yesterday, they relented, allowing Yakubu to sign a five-year deal with Everton.

The 24-year-old becomes the club's record signing, and he could now make his debut at Bolton on Saturday. Yakubu said: "I am happy to be here. It is a great feeling to come over and meet a lot of good players. I want to play for a club that plays in Europe, and I think they have the ambition to move forward and they want to finish in the first four and the Champions League and Uefa Cup, and for me that is my dream."

Yakubu revealed that Boro's failure to build on their run to the Uefa Cup final in 2005-06 had been a major factor in his deciding to quit the Riverside.

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