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Southampton striker James Beattie has opted to join Everton rather than Aston Villa and is now set to complete a £6.5m transfer to Goodison Park.
The Saints had accepted bids from both Everton and Villa, but Beattie has chosen to join fourth-placed Everton as they chase a place in Europe.


The transfer represents a coup for manager David Moyes as he looks to strengthen his squad.

The England international, 26, is to undergo a medical on Monday.

Southampton Harry Redknapp revealed on Saturday that Everton and Villa had offered around £6.5m for the striker.

Beattie's former club Blackburn, who he left in 1998, will receive a share of any transfer fee.

Beattie's sale will bolster Redknapp's plans to buy the players he needs to shore up the club's relegation fight, with defence a key area.

Redknapp has already been linked to Liverpool duo Stephane Henchoz and Igor Biscan, while defender Abel Xavier and midfielder Alex Nyarko are due to start trials with Southampton on Monday.

But the former Portsmouth manager denied speculation he was interested in Newcastle centre-back Titus Bramble.

"I have not enquired about him," he said. "But we need people with a bit of pace because this team has not got any really."
 

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Everton deserve better, I actually reckon Beats will disrupt there team spirit. He wouldn't fit there current system, it would mean changing to a 4-4-2 and frankly Beats is quite a lazy person when it comes to working for the team.
 

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We badly needed another striker and cannot rely on Bent to score the goals all the time (Specially when dunc cannot seem to keep himself on the pitch for more than 5 mins). Beattie's used to playing our style with Southampton (Who have been similer to us in previous years). The team still needs more backup though.
 

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A great signing but what's going to happen to Bent? You can't play them both using the 4-1-4-1 formation that has worked so well for you this season.
 

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Southall slates Everton signing Beattie
tribalfootball.com - January 4, 2005

Everton legend Neville Southall has launched a scathing attack on the club's new signing James Beattie.

The former Welsh goalkeeper rapped: "Everton already have Marcus Bent who is much more mobile than Beattie. He doesn't work as hard.

"Beattie can't play alone up front like Bent does, and that would mean changing the formation and maybe upsetting the balance.

"I can't see Beattie playing lots of games for Everton and if that happens he'll get the hump. They need someone who grafts."

Southall, now 46 and boss of Hastings United, won two titles, two FA Cups and the Cup Winners' Cup with Everton during the 1980s.

He added: "They needed to spend ?million on one player who would make everyone sit up and take notice. But I don't think Beattie is the answer."
 

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I think Jimmy will be an exciting signing by Everton,He's a quality striker who's worked hard to get where he is and rather well composed player.I think he'll fit in welt at Goodison and a much needed arrival up front also.
 

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Decision to sign was 'very easy' - Beattie Jan 5 2005

By Paul Walker, Daily Post

EVERTON have completed the signing of James Beattie and will be able play their new £6million record buy in the FA Cup on Saturday.

The Merseysiders will be one of the first major benefactors from a new FA rule brought in for this transfer window, which has abolished the seven days' signing regulation for FA Cup ties.

Now clubs can use players as long as they were registered by noon on the day before the tie, similar to the rules for the Premiership.

Beattie's medical results were cleared just hours before Everton faced Portsmouth at Goodison Park last night, and he now has the all-clear to for the Cup tie at Plymouth on Saturday.

An FA spokesman said: "The registration for the FA Cup used to be seven days before the tie, but that has been changed to help clubs during the transfer window.

"Last season the third round of the Cup was right at the beginning of the month, which made it impossible for clubs to sign and field players in the third round."

Beattie agreed terms on Sunday and was at their Bellefield training ground and a local private hospital, the following day to undergo his medical.

The results could not be completed until yesterday afternoon, which delayed Everton's official confirmation.

Beattie had also returned to the south coast to tie up personal matters before returning to Goodison Park just before the victory over Pompey to finally complete the move.

Beattie revealed the decision to join Everton was "very easy," adding: "I'm absolutely delighted with the move. The chairman and the manager said how much they wanted me and wanted me to be a part of an Everton team that is doing really well.

"I was impressed by what they had to say.

"The direction of the club and where David Moyes wants to go with the chairman's backing, and obviously the position that we are in at the minute, has made the decision very easy." Moyes was thrilled to have signed a player he believes is one of the top strikers in the Premiership.

He said: "We are really pleased we have got him. We have kept up to date with his developments and we feel pleased he felt Everton is the right choice for him.

"His record stands up with all the strikers in the Premiership.

"He will be a good centre forward for us here and his goals will hopefully be important."
 
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