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Brands’ resistance is gaining Everton ground in proposed transfers

Everton are not giving in to selling clubs’ demands and it’s showing

Everton FC v Arsenal FC - Premier League Photo by Simon Stacpoole/Offside/Offside via Getty Images

It was all too quiet in the first half of August. There had been more than murmurs of Everton interest in Lille’s Gabriel Magalhaes and Southampton’s Pierre-Emile Hjobjerg, but those quickly dissipated with two London clubs coming into the picture.

Everton apparently had a deal with the French side earlier this year, and negotiations with the player were all but done as well. However, after the COVID-19 pandemic turned the world upside down, the Blues asked to take another look at the financial details, with an expected tightening of the belts coming up from lost revenue in the 2019-20 season.

Lille would not budge and Arsenal swooped in to complete the sale, replete with cash Marcel Brands did not have along with the promise of European football, sealed on the last day of the previous campaign with an FA Cup trophy. The Blues had gone into the transfer window saying they had a budget keeping in mind the nine-figure losses from the previous financial year, and did not break the bank for the defender, no doubt keeping in mind the surprise emergence of Jarrad Branthwaite as a first team player.

The Toffees were severely lacking in the midfield department, and made an approach for Hjobjerg. There appeared to be a slight difference in valuations between the two clubs, but before that could be resolved Tottenham Hotspur came in with a bid, and the player’s personal preference was to move to London. Again, Everton stuck to their guns and didn’t try to sway the player with prohibitive financial burdens like overpaying either for the player or with wages.

But over the last week or so, Everton are coming closer and closer to signing three midfielders of various orientations, and they are all coming to fruition because the Blues are being stubborn and it’s paying off, at least as far as media reports of the negotiations can be trusted.

Napoli apparently had Allan valued at €35 million, and a further €5m in add-ons. And though the player has indicated he wants to go nowhere else than work with Carlo Ancelotti, even as Italian champions Juventus came in with a player plus cash offer late on. That transfer fee looked to have dropped, and even yesterday it was still looking like a deal in the same financial range, but now the latest reports have it that the two sides have finally agreed on, and the transfer fee looks a lot more reasonable for Everton, at a total £25 million including the bonuses.

This was pretty much confirmed today when the authority of all authorities Paul Joyce put a bow on the negotiations.

Like a number of former Ancelotti players, James Rodriguez has been linked with Everton on and off a number of times this year. However, that talk ramped up all of a sudden this week, and talks have escalated to the point where most media sources are reporting that Real Madrid and Everton have already agreed to terms, and a deal has been done with the player himself too.

Interestingly though, today we hear the first talk that the 2014 World Cup Golden Boot winner is actually arriving on Merseyside on a loan transaction in the last year of his massive £200,000 per week contract.

Even with a reasonable seven-digit loan fee, a loan will provide the least burden on the Toffees’ strained wage bill, and will allow the player to resurrect his career with a favoured manager who has tried (and succeeded too) to sign him at every club he’s been at, while bringing a touch of world-class quality and a worldwide following Goodison has rarely seen.

Then there is the case of Abdoulaye Doucoure, a midfielder the Blues have tried more than once to lure to the banks of the Mersey. Watford FC’s acrimonious relationship with the Blues initially meant they were asking for no less than £30-35 million. However, the London-side are on shaky footing following their relegation and have little leverage in keeping any players who want to leave. Everton look to have stood their ground with how much they want to pay, and reports were that all sides had an agreement around £25m as of a couple of days ago, but now it appears the Hornets are willing to negotiate further if the Blues can give them a player on loan, with Wolverhampton, newly-promoted Fulham and Bundesliga side Hertha Berlin circling.

Again Everton are not budging from what they are willing to pay under tight constraints, and though it means waiting longer for the players to join up with the rest of the squad for the preseason, the long-term future of the club is not being mortgaged like has happened in the past, sins the club’s current regime are still paying the penance for.

As to where Everton are scrounging up the cash to drop over £50m when they were not expected to be able to spend more than about £30m this summer, looks like there’s a sale or two up Brands’ sleeve that we don’t know about yet. Or Alisher Usmanov is finally coming onboard with another sponsorship arrangement or two, only time will tell.