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Soccer-Everton sign Gareth Barry on permanent deal

Reuters

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LONDON, July 8 (Reuters) - Everton have signed former England midfielder Gareth Barry on a three-year deal after he spent last season with them on loan from Manchester City, the club said on Tuesday.

Barry, who has made 37 appearances and scored three goals for Everton, becomes manager Roberto Martinez's first close-season signing.

The 33-year-old, whose contract with Premier League champions City expired in June, helped Everton to fifth place and their best points total of the Premier League era.

"I've learned so much from the boss. It's a great set of players and the fans are fantastic. Everything about Everton feels right," he told Everton's Twitter feed.

"I'm delighted now that everything is signed and I'm going to be spending the next few years at Everton," the midfielder told the BBC.

"When you are on loan, it is never the same as being a signed player. I was really settled last year - but now I am an official Everton player and it feels really good."

Under Martinez Everton were widely praised for their exuberance and flair last season and the Spaniard believes the resolute Barry provides the perfect foil for their attacking philosophy.

"He will fit perfectly well into what we are at Everton," Martinez told the BBC. "It is a great way to start pre-season."

Barry began his career with Brighton, currently in English football's second tier, but made his name with Aston Villa where he made his debut at the age of 17. He won 53 caps for England. (Reporting by Neville Dalton; Editing by Toby Davis)

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