Everton sign striker Nikica Jelavic from Rangers

Everton have signed Croatia international striker Nikica Jelavic from Rangers for £5.5m.

The 26-year-old joins the Blues on a four-and-a-half-year deal.

Jelavic, who moved to the Gers from Rapid Vienna in August 2010, has scored 17 goals in all competitions so far this season.

He becomes David Moyes' third signing of the January transfer window, following deals for Landon Donovan and Darron Gibson.

Everton this week sold Russian Diniyar Bilyaletdinov to Spartak Moscow for £5m. 

Nikica Jelavic

  • Started career at Hajduk Split, scoring eight goals in 41 games
  • After five years he left for Belgian side S.V. Zulte Waregem where he scored three goals in 25 games in one season at the club
  • He then spent three seasons at Rapid Vienna, scoring 40 goals in 93 matches
  • In August 2010 he joined Rangers for £4m and has since netted 36 goals in 55 matches
  • Has 17 caps for Croatia and two goals

Jelavic received a warm reception after being introduced to Everton supporters at half- time in Tuesday's 1-0 Premier League win over Manchester City at Goodison Park.

He will be available to make his first appearance in Saturday's trip to Wigan.

"It is great news for us. We have been looking for a centre forward for a while. We just hope now he can help us score some goals and we can build on tonight's performance," said Everton manager David Moyes.

"I think tonight he would have seen the hard work that the players put in. He is coming from a great football club but I think he is coming to another great football club.

"He really wants to play in the Premier League and he really wants to play for Everton. That goes a long way.

"He will also want to play for Croatia in the European Championship so hopefully that will keep his form good, keep him hungry to score and play well."

Jelavic said he would relish playing in the Premier League.

"It is a big thing for me and it is a new step in my career, a step forward," he told the Everton club website. 

Nikica Jelavic's goals for Rangers

"The Scottish Premier League is not as high a level as here in England but I think it will help a lot as it is not so much a big difference.

"I think I can bring some good football and to score many goals and to try to win some trophies."

Moyes was initially interested in Jelavic when he moved to Ibrox from Rapid Vienna for £4m in August 2010.

Scottish champions Rangers are currently experiencing financial problems and failed to replace Jelavic before the transfer window closed after having a bid for Norwich City's Grant Holt rejected but club owner Craig Whyte defended the sale.

"The reality of Jelavic's departure is two-fold," he said. "One, the player wanted to leave and there is no point in trying to keep a player who no longer wants to be at Ibrox.

"Two, the club is simply not in a financial position to turn down offers for players which give the club a good return on its original investment."

Rangers manager Ally McCoist had admitted on Saturday that Jelavic's departure would be "a big loss".

"I'd also like to tell you I wouldn't like to lose him. Of course I wouldn't, because he's a good player. But I understand the economics of our club and I understand the economics of football. Sometimes they dictate and determine what happens," he said.