Everton signed defender Sylvain Distin from Portsmouth to replace the departed Joleon Lescott.

Everton paid Portsmouth an undisclosed fee for the 31-year-old Frenchman and gave him a three-year contract after he passed a medical examination.

Lescott joined Manchester City this week, making it even more important that Everton manager David Moyes bolster a squad that finished fifth the past two seasons.

“He’ll give me a centre half,” Moyes said. “I needed one before Joleon left and he’ll give me a direct replacement for him. He’s a left-footed centre back, which I wanted.”

Distin arrived in England from Paris Saint-Germain in 2002 and spent a season with Newcastle before spending five years at Manchester City. He joined Portsmouth in 2007 and won the FA Cup with the south England side at the end of his first season.

“He’s a bit older but more experienced,” Moyes said. “I look back at how well Davey Weir and Alan Stubbs did for us in their 30s, and I hope Sylvain can do the same.

“We need someone to come in and keep us steady because we want to be competing be at the top end of the Premier League.”

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