According to the Telegraph, Everton and Swansea had verbally agreed to a £45m transfer for Gylfi Sigurdsson which Everton then tried to renegotiate.
The terms involved Everton paying the entirety of the sum up front with no add ons, and it appears that the Toffees second guessed the wisdom of such a move. This has pushed the Welsh club to the brink of simply washing their hands of the entire venture and keeping Sigurdsson for the upcoming season.
There are a few elements to unpack here. First, as far as Swansea throwing up their hands and walking away is concerned, they were likely to want any excuse to do that, so this shouldn’t come as a surprise. They can go back to their fanbase and say “well, we tried to be reasonable but Everton just refused to deal reasonably.”
Second, it’s rather unclear why Everton would agree to putting the entire fee up front. As much as we would like to think that Farhad Moshiri is just writing checks, this is still a massive amount of money moving around, and the more money being moved at once, the more complex the legal and financial maneuvers would need to be to move it. Given that Everton are alleged to want three more signings this window, they need that immediate flexibility.
Third, if Everton did verbally agree to such a thing and are now second guessing it, they have no one to blame but themselves if this entire thing collapses. Do what you say you are going to do. Period.
So, how is this likely to turn out? Frankly a resolution in either direction would cause deep relief for both fanbases, but the most likely outcome given this report is that Everton ends up having to pay the full £50m Swansea is asking with a lesser amount up front to get their man because at this point the ability to go to another option is getting weaker and weaker all the time.
Essentially, Everton going back on this verbal agreement could cost them £5m.
Here’s hoping that we are near the actual end of Gylfi Sigurdsson rumours.