Moyes targets Distin after signing Bilyaletdinov
Wednesday 26 August 2009
The Russia winger Diniyar Bilyaletdinov could become the first of three signings for Everton before they head out to Czech Republic for tomorrow's Europa League play-off second leg.
The Toffees fly out today for the tie with Sigma Olomouc already leading 4-0 from the first meeting last week. With Bilyaletdinov already having penned a five-year contract, Everton manager David Moyes expects to have the loan signing of Valencia midfielder Ever Banega completed in 24 hours. Moyes is also chasing Portsmouth defender Sylvain Distin, who has handed in a transfer request at Fratton Park. All these deals have been triggered by the funds generated by Joleon Lescott's £24m move to Manchester City.
Bilyaletdinov has signed after passing a medical in Hamburg and his move from Lokomotiv Moscow makes him the third most expensive signing in Everton's history. They held the medical and completed the negotiations and paperwork in Hamburg because Bilyaletdinov does not have a visa to travel to the UK but can enter Germany. The Goodison Park club are believed to have already completed the formalities of a work permit, but the Russian has now returned to Moscow to sort out the visa application. That documentation could be cleared in 48 hours, and Everton are considering flying their new signing to Merseyside for Sunday's home game with Wigan Athletic, although he would be unlikely to feature.
The 24-year-old has to join up with the Russia squad on Monday for two World Cup qualifiers. They play Liechtenstein on 5 September and then face Wales in Cardiff four days later. He is expected to play in both matches, and will then travel to Merseyside straight from the Millennium Stadium to prepare for the trip to Fulham on 13 September.
Bilyaletdinov cannot wait to get started on his Everton career. "I spoke to David Moyes and he told me he is looking forward to working with me – and I am looking forward to working with him," he said. "It is a dream for me to play in the Premier League. Everton is a big club and I cannot wait to get started."
Capped 28 times by Russia, Bilyaletdinov broke into Lokomotiv's first team in 2004, forging a reputation for his direct running style as well as displaying the leadership skills which would later be rewarded with the captain's armband.
Bilyaletdinov has been a regular for the Russia national team since making his debut aged 20. He featured in every game of their memorable run to the semi-finals of Euro 2008, where they lost to eventual winners Spain.
Ayegbeni Yakubu was set to make his comeback in the reserves last night against Burnley. The striker has been out since last November with an Achilles injury.
Latest in Sport
David Moyes sacked: Louis van Gaal and Carlo Ancelotti head wish list as Manchester United as Ryan Giggs is ruled out
Liverpool v Chelsea: Jose Mourinho threatens to play weakened side at Anfield after losing Petr Cech and John Terry during Atletico Madrid tie
David Moyes sacked: Manchester United's potential summer transfer targets as season hits a new low
David Moyes sacked: Ruthless decision to sack manager was made by club over two months ago
Liverpool transfer news: Brendan Rodgers to be given record funds to prepare for Champions League
- 1 Revealed: Scientists ‘edit’ DNA to correct adult genes and cure diseases
- 2 David Cameron's constituency office calls police on food bank campaigners Bishop of Oxford and Reverend Keith Hebden
- 3 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 4 Women take on Bear Grylls over 'sexist' male-only desert island show
- 5 Malaysia Airlines flight MH370: Concerns grow among search officials that missing jet ‘may have landed somewhere else’
Ukip election posters: Nigel Farage defends 'racist' campaign anti-immigration campaign ahead of Europe elections
Is Britain really a land of God? Furious debate after David Cameron claims we are a Christian country
An open letter to Nigel Farage: you may smile, but I am not seduced
Ukip leader Nigel Farage defends employing German wife, at launch of anti-immigration poster campaign
'Sinful': Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy comes under attack
David Cameron's constituency office calls police on food bank campaigners Bishop of Oxford and Reverend Keith Hebden