Everton agree £3m deal to keep Howard at Goodison

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The Independent Football

American goalkeeper Tim Howard will end his association with Manchester United and move to Everton permanently at the end of the season after securing a £3m deal yesterday.

Howard, who has been on loan to Everton since losing his place at United to Edwin van der Sar, has agreed a five-year contract with the Toffees that will keep him at Goodison Park until 2012.

"The club share my ambition, that is for sure. The manager does and so do the fans," Howard said yesterday. "I was drawn to the club for a number of reasons and the players in the dressing room are one of them."

Howard has made 27 appearances for Everton with 11 clean sheets. "We are delighted to have signed Tim on a permanent basis," Everton manager David Moyes said. "He has come in and proved he is a good keeper and we are pleased to have secured him."

After moving from the MetroStars in Major League Soccer in July 2003, Howard played 77 games for United but lost his starting place to Van der Sar last season and only played six times ­ including just one appearance in the Premier League. Howard was on the United States squad for the 2006 World Cup but did not play. He has made 16 appearances for the US, most recently in last week's 2-0 win over Mexico.

Although the transfer window closed on 31 January, Premier League rules allow loan deals to become permanent moves as long as they are between the same two clubs.