The transfer window will 'slam shut' (to paraphrase a TV personality and close friend of Everton majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri) on the night of Tuesday August 31st, and it's looking like Everton could finally have some money to spend, but at what cost?
Apparently Richarlison's management are in France furiously trying to sell their client to Paris St Germain, who are close to offloading superstar Kylian Mbappe to Real Madrid.
Meanwhile in Italy, it appears Cristiano Ronaldo is on his way to Manchester City, sworn rivals of Manchester United where he shot to fame.
Editor’s Note: Amend that, as a couple of hours later it looks like he’ll be returning to Old Trafford after all.
Juventus are said to be looking to replace him with the striker they sold to the Toffees, Moise Kean.
On one hand this is great news for the Blues, who can rightly be proud of nurturing two talents in the world game that are destined for greatness. But despite the windfall the pair are expected to raise, there is a downside or two as well.
The Premier League’s Profit & Sustainability rules which govern the maximum amount of losses a club can sustain in its existence mean that Everton were already unable to make any sort of meaningful purchases in the summer transfer window as one by one they watched their primary transfer targets (as identified by mainstream media) all disappear to different clubs.
With no significant sales to report this summer so far beyond Bernard’s departure, the Blues are continuing to shop James Rodriguez and his eye-watering £200,000 per week wages in a bid to continue to stay fluid in the cash department. However there have been no takers for the oft-injured forward and short of a deadline day desperate loan, it’s hard to see the Colombian departing, leaving only Richarlison and Moise Kean as immediately viable assets, and both are being actively sought after now.
The net of the possible exits of Richarlison, Kean and James could be a cash inflow of about £100 million if Marcel Brands can negotiate well. The problem remains though that Everton will need to replace them with a wide forward that can play striker and a central attacking midfielder at the very least, and also addressing the future right back position. In case you’re asking why that is a problem, well, to put it simply, most of Everton’s primary targets at these positions are already off the market - Denzel Dumfries, Joaquin Correa, Leon Bailey, among others.
In addition to that, when you’re this late into the transfer window, even if there were teams that would be willing to sell to you, there is also the matter of inflation of transfer fees to take advantage of your desperation. If both Richarlison and Kean leave, everyone already knows that the Blues will need forwards. However, instead of what Aston Villa did - buying before formally selling cash-cow Jack Grealish - the Toffees will be forced to go into a market with their transfer kitty full and every Tom, Dick & Harry aware that Everton can be had as they are shopping with real and not Monopoly money here.
Though it seems unlikely at this stage, it would be good for Everton to put their collective foot down and refuse to sell any player that is a part of Rafa Benitez’s plans for this season, and that would obviously include Richarlison. Previously it had seemed that Everton allowing Richarlison to play in two summer tournaments was in exchange for his loyalty for one more season, but now it looks like that wasn’t happening.
In his pre-match press conference earlier this morning Benitez appeared to do just that, saying the club will not be looking to sell Richarlison in this transfer window and that he is a part of the manager’s plans for this season.
The best case scenario from the Everton perspective would be for Brands & Co. to already have replacements lined up and transfer fees already negotiated. The worst case... well that doesn’t need repeating.