On a side replete with bloated contracts, surely Gylfi Sigurdsson is the biggest albatross of them all at Everton.
During the summer of spending in 2017, the Toffees had signed the Iceland international for a reported £40 million transfer fee with £5m in potential add-ons, a club-record deal that still stands. Symbolic of how shambolic the transfer strategy was under first Director of Football Steve Walsh and then manager Ronald Koeman, Sigurdsson was the third #10 the Blues signed that summer before being promptly shunted out left in a 4-2-3-1 formation.
In the three campaigns since then, the attacking midfielder’s performances have continued to degrade even as criticism of his apparent lack of interest and motivation has peaked to the extent where it was to his benefit that the Blues were playing behind closed doors to close out the 2019-20 season or else he would have had to hear a number of choice words.
Sigurdsson will turn 31 next week, and colloquially speaking, ‘his legs are gone’. He makes £100,000 per week and is still on contract for another two seasons. It is virtually impossible the Blues will be able to sell him to any other team in the top five leagues that can pay those wages, which only leaves the Russian Premier League, Chinese Premier League and possible the MLS in the United States as destinations to sell the Icelander.
To that end, The Athletic are reporting that multiple media sources have mentioned that D. C. United are interested in bringing Sigurdsson to the Major League, much like they did with another Blues #10, Wayne Rooney a couple of seasons ago. The American side look ready to make a big impact in the transfer market, with reported interest in Juventus striker Gonzalo Higuain and Barcelona’s Luis Suarez also mentioned.
Everton fans and the Board will likely be chomping at the bit to hear if this interest is concrete because he represents a significant load off the wage bill if the Toffees can get rid of him, and clear room for Carlo Ancelotti’s midfield makeover with Allan, James Rodriguez and possibly Abdoulaye Doucoure.
Just the financial impact of getting him off the wage bill would be huge for the Blues, and any sort of transfer fee would be a cherry on top - sample this bit of accounting wizardry.
We signed Sigurdsson for £45m, and he’s on £5.2m wages per year. Say we sell him for £15m:
- wage bill reduces by £5.2m
- amortization cost reduces by £9m (£45m / 5 years)
- his book value is currently £18m (2 years left on a £45m, five year purchase), so it’s a net loss of £3m on the sale.
At the end of the financial year though, the entire transaction will be logged as a profit, with the £3m loss balanced by a reduction of £9m on amortization cost and £5.2m on wages, for a net profit of £11.2 million.
More to come on this one, it sounds like.