Everton confirm Demarai Gray transfer as ex-Leicester winger completes move from Bayer Leverkusen on three-year deal
EVERTON have completed a deal for Demarai Gray, making the winger their third signing of the summer.
The 25-year-old joins from Bayer Leverkusen for an undisclosed fee, reportedly worth around £1.7million, on a three-year deal.
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Gray came through the ranks at Birmingham before a move to Leicester midway through the Foxes' 2015-16 Premier League title triumph.
But he was allowed to leave in January this year after falling out of favour under Brendan Rodgers, joining Bundesliga side Leverkusen, where he made 12 appearances and scored one goal.
Gray told the Everton website: “I’m delighted to be back in the Premier League at such a big club and I’m excited to play with the team and get to work.
“Speaking to the manager [Rafa Benitez] and [director of football] Marcel Brands, I had a really good feel for the club and I feel this is a place where I can continue to develop.
Everton are a very big club and the main objective is to be pushing and competing back up there in the table.
“The manager, with his ambition and what he has won in the past, is important and we’ll look to push forward and compete with the top clubs. I think a club of this magnitude has all the potential to be right up there.
“Everton are a very big club and the main objective is to be pushing and competing back up there in the table."
The Toffees have handed Gray the No11 shirt and hold the option to extend his contract for a fourth year.
He follows goalkeeper Asmir Begovic and fellow forward Andros Townsend through the door ahead of Rafa Benitez's first campaign in charge.
Everton are currently in Orlando for the Florida Cup and Gray may make his first appearance for the club against Millonarios on Sunday night.
The former England Under-21 star added: “For me, the targets that I’ve set myself and what the club’s ambitions are, collectively everything felt right to me to join Everton.
“I want to push on, be a pivotal player in the squad, and help the team score goals and assist goals.
“I’m a speedy, tricky winger. I enjoy running with the ball, roaming around the pitch.
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“I like to play anywhere along the front three and I feel like I can be dangerous in all areas.
"And with the ability I know I have and the belief I have in myself, I think I can add to this team.
“I feel like I’m at a stage in my career now where I can put everything together.
"There are areas of my game where I still want to improve and become better at. I’m excited to kick on.”
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