Everton reportedly have given up on their pursuit of Celtic defender Kieran Tierney after refusing to meet the Scottish club’s asking price.
BBC reporter Alasdair Lamont says the Toffees will now move on to other targets after initially identifying the Scotland international as a long-term replacement for Leighton Baines.
Reports last week suggested Tierney had even agreed a deal in principle with Everton and were ready to make a move if a fee could be agreed.
But that’s where the issues began.
Celtic are understandably reluctant to let the player go without receiving a hefty fee and with five years remaining on his contract the Scottish champions are in a strong bargaining position.
There’s been conflicting rumours about the fee but it seems Everton are reluctant to pay £25m upfront for the 21-year-old, valuing him instead around £18-20m
#Everton may well have walked away from the Tierney deal as per BBC Scotland reports or this could be a tactic to test how serious Celtic are about wanting £25m up front. Either way, they have other options.— Greg O'Keeffe (@GregOK) July 8, 2018
Whether Everton really have walked away from the deal or are merely using it as a negotiating tactic remains to be seen. BBC journalist and former Liverpool Echo reporter Greg O’Keefe intimated that Everton may still go back in for Tierney if a compromise can be struck.
The general feeling amongst Evertonians regarding Tierney was that it is a deal they want done.
There’s no doubt the club simply must sign a successor to Baines this summer and Tierney ticked all the boxes.
But given the lavish excesses of last summer and the troublesome legacy its created, maybe the club are right to be cautious with their transfer funds.
Though with a little over a month to go until the transfer window shuts, they cannot afford too frugal or risk missing out on targets entirely.