Everton swooped for the Motherwell striker James McFadden last night in a £1m raid to beat the transfer deadline.
The Merseyside club's manager, David Moyes, moved in for the Fir Park player to push through the deal before McFadden heads off for international duty with Scotland, after hearing that Celtic were also in the race.
Moyes, who was interested in the striker even in his days in charge of Preston, has been wanting to sign McFadden for several months and finally homed in on him last night. McFadden is due to have a medical on Merseyside and sign the deal today, just hours before the extended deadline of 5pm.
Moyes stepped in after Everton's 3-0 defeat by Liverpool in the Merseyside derby on Saturday exposed the need for reinforcements at Goodison Park. Moyes, who had raised £500,000 by selling the midfielder Mark Pembridge to Fulham, was also lining up moves for Robbie Savage and the goalkeeper Nigel Martyn, but he still had time to arrange the Motherwell signing and make the financially stricken club an offer they could not refuse.
McFadden's all-action style recommends him to Moyes, who feels he needs more firepower in attack, although the Motherwell striker is far from guaranteed a first-team place.
But McFadden, who scored twice during Motherwell's 2-2 draw with Partick on Saturday and has been named in Berti Vogts' Scotland squad for the Euro 2004 qualifiers against the Faroe Islands and Germany, may be moving to the English Premiership club at the right time, as Duncan Ferguson is still not fully fit while Kevin Campbell is injured.
However, the surprise move still left the other clubs chasing McFadden stunned by its speed and the amount of money involved.
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