Frank Lampard is confident Jordan Pickford will sign a new long-term contract at Everton and that the club can match the England No.1’s ambitions.
Pickford has 18 months remaining on his current contract and the Toffees will not want the former Sunderland goalkeeper to enter the final year of his deal or risk losing him on a free transfer in 2024.
That will likely make this summer make or break for Pickford’s future at Goodison Park, with rumours suggesting he is keen to play Champions League football sooner rather than later.
Manchester United and Chelsea are two clubs linked with Pickford as they consider bringing in a new No.1 goalkeeper.
Then there is Everton’s calamitous finances which may still require another key player to leave in order to balance the books this summer. If that sadly proves the case then Pickford would likely be high on the list of potential candidates to cash in on.
The futures of two other players, Anthony Gordon and Alex Iwobi, appears to be more clear, with reports both are very close to signing new deals with the Blues.
Asked about an update on the contract talks for all three players, Lampard told reporters at his pre-Wolves news conference:
“Close. That’s the update for you, all good.
“Hopefully it’s a situation where we want the players to stay and they want to stay here, that’s always been the feeling. We’re very close.”
When asked about Pickford specifically Lampard was bullish about the prospect of keeping the 28-year-old, who joined Everton from Sunderland in the summer of 2017, at Goodison Park.
“I feel we can (match his ambitions). I don’t think it’s straightforward to look at any individual in terms of what their ambitions are.
“Jordan is England’s number one and has secured that position relatively which has been an amazing achievement by him because we know how difficult that is. He’s played for Everton and was a huge reason we had a great run towards the end of last season and stayed in the league.
“Jordan, everybody knows, was a massive part of that. Jordan feels very happy being at this club, I don’t want to speak for him but that’s the impression I get from him.
“So I don’t think it’s as simple as that, I like to think he’s very happy here. We’re a huge club with a huge history and big ambition and he’s a big part of that.
“Having been a player myself, maybe I was fortunate to play Champions League a lot, when I felt comfortable at a club, I came in with a smile on my face every day and I looked forward to every game that came up whether it be Premier League, Carabao Cup or Champions League, whatever. If Jordan feels like that, we can match each other’s ambitions and in terms of getting him to stay longer, I don’t see that as a problem.”
Asked about potential January incomings Lampard confirmed the club was looking to bring in attacking players.
Everton have struggled badly for goals this season after selling Richarlison over the summer and the continued injury woes of Dominic Calvert-Lewin.
Lampard also said the club were hopeful of turning Conor Coady’s loan from Wolves into a permanent deal at some stage, though he would not comment on reports linking Abdoulaye Doucoure with a move away.
“I don’t want to talk about players leaving off the back of newspaper reports, I think that’s a bit lightweight. We’ve got our squad working towards Wolves.
“Conor has been brilliant since he came here in every possible way so I, and we, would love to make that permanent at some point. That’s not happening right now but we’ll keep looking at that one.
“In the January window we want to help the squad and have more options in the forward areas if they’re right. If players become available in those areas then we have to try and improve because, particularly with having Dominic injured for a big part of the season, I think it’s been an area where we know we want more.
“We have to be smart. Our situation is clear.
“Some other clubs are making moves in their own ways and we also have to be smart over how we do it and more than that, concentrate on what we have in the building, the players that we have, how willing are they to fight, play well and improve every day, that’s my main concern. But when the window opens, we’ll be looking to improve where we can.”