While Everton fans around the globe awaited news of Sandro Ramirez’s decision, more serious discussions with Ross Barkley were taking place elsewhere.
Late today, the Mirror reported that Barkley has rejected outright the club’s final contract offer, rumored to be in the region of £100,000 per week. Everton are now prepared to walk away from the negotiating table and seal a double deal for Ajax midfielder Davy Klaassen and Swansea City playmaker Gylfi Sigurdsson.
The England star has rejected the chance to become the highest paid player in Blues history, by ending talks over a new £100,000 a week contract.
Everton have now turned their sights on Davy Klaassen AND Gylfi Sigurdsson.
The Goodison club are increasingly confident of landing both players, with talks at an advanced stage over Ajax skipper Klaassen, as a fee is thrashed out. Ross Barkley's Everton career is over, as the club stand on the verge of signing TWO replacements for him.
The fee for Klaassen is expected to be in the region of £22 million.
Information on discussions with Swansea over their Icelandic star is harder to come by. It’s likely that Sigurdsson will cost more than Ajax captain Klaassen - perhaps even in excess of £30 million.
If Everton can pull off the double swoop, it would represent an enormous statement of intent from Ronald Koeman and company. Klaassen, 24, bagged an impressive 20 goals this season, while Sigurdsson, 27, put in 10 goals to go along with 13 assists.
Both players are more efficient in front of goal than Barkley, which is a trait that will please Koeman as the club seek to replace the contributions of a surely outgoing Romelu Lukaku.
For Barkley, it looks like a disappointing end to what was once an incredibly promising Goodison Park career. The Liverpool-born midfielder had a moderately good season, but failed to completely impress Ronald Koeman. The club and player were never able to come to terms on Barkley’s value, and so, off he goes.
Whether or not Barkley’s departure comes this summer or next when his contract winds down remains to be seen. Everton will be hopeful of getting a lucrative transfer fee in return, but there are unlikely to be too many suitors for a positionless six-goal scorer.
How this all plays out in the coming days will be something to watch indeed. Everton Football Club are set for one chaotic summer.