Earlier today Sky Sports confirmed that Everton had come back with a second bid for Crystal Palace forward Wilfried Zaha, with the initial sum of 55 million quoted along with two players the Eagles have been interested in - James McCarthy and Cenk Tosun - also thrown in.
Quoting directly from the article, Kaveh Solhekol of Sky Sports News said -
“As far as we are concerned, I have faith in the source from our story and what we are being told.
”We know that Everton are trying to sign him, we know they made a £55m bid for him, and we know that in discussions the names of Cenk Tosun and James McCarthy have been brought up - players that Crystal Palace are interested in.
”Everton say they have not made a second bid but my information is that they have.”
However, reporter Chris Bascombe of the Telegraph is now claiming that no such second bid was lodged, and his source is an official statement from Everton!
To be fair, we haven’t seen that statement published anywhere The statement has been sent to all the media houses -
“Everton Football Club categorically denies that a bid has been submitted to Crystal Palace for Wilfried Zaha that included an increased sum plus Cenk Tosun and James McCarthy.
“Everton and Crystal Palace have a very good relationship. A bid was made over the weekend which was turned down. Both clubs agreed that was the end of the matter.”
Here we have a classic case of two reporters saying conflicting things and something not uncommon during silly season.
We’ve always had our doubts about Sky Sports’ business model, whereby the reporters claim a transfer rumour, prompting ridiculously large sums of money to get gambled on Sky Bet on those rumours, and then virtually none of those coming true in the end. The conflict of interest has never been more glaring.
On the other hand, for us at Royal Blue Mersey, from experience we’ve learned to trust three key football reporters - Paul Joyce, Chris Bascombe and Dominic King - outside of whom we tend to approach with caution.