Since his appointment as Everton Director of Football, Marcel Brands has been making moves to clear out the deadwood from the Blues’ squad, and there’s more big decisions to be made this coming summer with two mainstays’ contracts expiring.
Club captain Phil Jagielka and fellow veteran defender Leighton Baines are the pair in question, with both players about to mark a dozen years at the club at the end of the current season.
However, the Guardian are reporting that Marco Silva and Brands are going to hold off on making any decisions about extending the players’ current deals until the summer, quoting the manager as saying -
“Everything is open for the players who are out of contract but the players you are talking about are special players because of everything they did and everything that they can do in the future also. We will make a decision at the end of the season. The players will be the first to know.
“I keep speaking with them. I know these type of things are coming now. We are happy and they are really important players for us even if they are not playing as much as they played in the starting XI in the last seasons. They keep being important for us.”
Without quoting Silva directly, the paper also reported on two other pairs of players whose future has been under question.
Andre Gomes (on loan from Barcelona) and Kurt Zouma (on loan from Chelsea) have both had good seasons so far, and the Blues will look to make those loan deals permanent this summer with their respective parent clubs, even though the pair could end up costing around £70 million.
Additionally, two youngsters out on loan abroad will be brought into the fold at Finch Farm. Nigerian youngster Henry Onyekuru has been on loan at Anderlecht last season and Galatasaray this season, but the Blues will attempt to get a work permit for him this summer on the basis of his performances with the Turkish side as well as breaking through with the Super Eagles national side. Bayern Munich’s interest in the forward will also drive up his projected transfer fee, which could get him enough points for the work permit.
Finally, Nikola Vlasic has starred for CSKA Moscow since he left on loan this season, and Silva says the club will attempt to bring him back. The Croat youngster didn’t really settle in well last season, and appeared to have fallen out with Silva early in the preseason. However, playing at is preferred #10 position he’s had a new lease of life and he could come back to the Blues to provide Gylfi Sigurdsson competition.