Everton to sign Sigurdsson for £45m – what does he offer?
Toffees break transfer record for second time this summer to land Icelandic international
The summer's heavy transfer spending continues, with Everton the latest club to smash their transfer record after agreeing a £45m deal for Swansea playmaker Gylfi Sigurdsson.
The Welsh side initially demanded £50m for their Icelandic star, but after rejecting two previous bids from the Merseyside club have now agreed to sell for an upfront payment of £40m, plus £5m in extras.
Everton's previous record signing was goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, who joined the Toffees in June for £30m. The Sigurdsson deal will take Ronald Koeman's spending this summer to £131m, says the Daily Telegraph.
Aside from Sigurdsson and Pickford, the Toffees have made several other high profile signings this summer, including Michael Keane and Davy Klaassen, while Wayne Rooney has returned to his boyhood club on a free transfer.
Swansea appeared resigned to the idea of selling Sigurdsson last week. Manager Paul Clement left him out of the squad that drew 0-0 with Southampton, says The Times.
Sigurdsson's arrival could spell the end for Ross Barkley at Everton but observers have mixed opinions about what he brings to the Toffees.
The transfer fee may at first seem like a "stupid amount of money", says Pat Nevin of the BBC. "But if he goes and gets you into the Champions League, well that will not seem like a daft amount of money.
"There's a few of us out there who think this guy's extra special and can give you that one thing, that one piece of class that you need to make yourself different from the rest.
"Sigurdsson gets a game wherever he goes and looks perfectly good in any team you put him in. He's a fabulous player and I think he single-handedly kept his club up last season."
But Tom Ley of the US website Deadspin is less convinced. The Icelandic international is an "attacking midfielder who can get himself a goal when needed and excels at picking out target men with crosses from set-pieces", he says.
"There's nothing wrong with a player like that, but Everton already have two second striker-types in Klaassen and Rooney, and not much in the way of a target man… It's hard to see how Sigurdsson fits into the side or provides anything Everton don't already have."