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Everton address defensive dearth with signing of Ramiro Funes Mori

Everton, 7/2 with Coral for a top six finish, have signed Argentina cap Ramiro Funes Mori for River Plate on a five-year contract.

The 24-year-old left-footed centre back is highly-rated and becomes only the second player from the South American country in Premier League history to play for the Toffees after Denis Stracqualursi.

“I’m the type of player who likes to work hard in every training session and in every game,” Mori said. “I train the way I play and I’m going to give it 100 per cent every time I go out there to play for Everton.

“When I heard about Everton’s interest, I didn’t think twice. My agent told me about this opportunity and Everton did everything to bring me over and I wanted to come.

“I know it’s a Club with a lot of history and a lot of good players have come from Everton, so I’m very happy to be here.

“I’ve signed for five years, so hopefully I can keep growing as a player and I can stay here for a long time.”

Funes Mori’s move will be welcome news to Roberto Martinez, who has just Everton club captain Phil Jagielka and John Stones – the subject of persistent interest and offers from reigning Premier League champions Chelsea – as established options for the heart of defence.

Should Stones be sold to the Blues there would thus be no cover at Goodison Park. The Toffees had been linked with a move for another South American centre half in former Brazil player Dante from Bayern Munich, but he chose to join Wolfsburg instead.

With first-choice left back Leighton Baines sidelined for three months following further surgery on his ankle, Funes Mori may also have to deputise in that berth. Martinez has also selected Costa Rica international Bryan Oviedo who is a winger by trade there, though.