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Koeman pulls the plug on Belfodil

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Manager concerned by ‘character issues’

FC Parma Training Session & Press Conference
Ishak Belfodil training with Parma
Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

UPDATE: Jan 19th, 6pm BST

Manager Koeman confirmed today that Everton's £10.4m bid is now canceled.

“It was one of the players on the list but we took the final decision to not sign the player.”


Despite the insistence of Everton Director of Football Steve Walsh, it’s looking like manager Ronald Koeman has canceled transfer talks with Standard Liege over forward Ishak Belfodil. Belgian daily Nieuwsblad are reporting today that the proposed £10m deal is off between the two clubs after Koeman raised character concerns over the player and his playing history.

They go on to say that despite conversations having been started by Walsh and the Blues and the confirmation of the signing coming close to fruition, Everton have walked away as of yesterday. Koeman’s concerns are understandable, with the player having made seven transfers over seven seasons and picking up a ‘moody journeyman’ label along the way.

Over the years, multiple football journalists have picked up on some undesirable traits with the player, with James Horncastle saying -

Nicola Sansone had gone down in the area and won a penalty for Parma. His teammate Marco Marchionni picked up the ball and walked towards the spot when he was confronted by Belfodil who petulantly demanded that he take it. ‘You better not miss, then,’ Marchionni probably thought. Except Belfodil did. Albano Bizzarri saved it but couldn’t hold onto the ball. Fortunately for Belfodil it fell to him and he made amends, blasting it into the net only to then shush and insult his bench.

...

It was the start of a hot streak through the winter months. That’s when he really stoked things up, scoring five goals in eight games. Juventus wanted him. Napoli did too. They were of course trained by Walter Mazzarri, Inter’s new coach who is said to be a big admirer. At the time, though, nothing came of their interest and when the transfer window closed in the spring, Belfodil was still a Parma player.

He was disappointed. Some claimed he sulked. There were other tantrums.

While Everton are looking pretty desperately for some support for star striker Romelu Lukaku, the last thing they need is a prima donna in the squad so the team will be well-served to avoid Belfodil.