Everton are yet to announce their next permanent manager but transfer work goes on behind the scenes with just a few days left in the January transfer window. Sean Dyche is expected to take over the reins after Frank Lampard was sacked earlier this week, but the former Burnley man is going to be short a forward player to work with, with the Blues close to a deal with Newcastle United for Anthony Gordon.
The 21-year-old was the subject of transfer speculation over the summer with Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea rumoured to be very interested in the wide player. However, after selling Richarlison to Spurs, the Blues did keep a hold of the local-born player. This season has not gone so well for the youngster though, and it appeared he fell out of favour with his mentor Lampard as the season dragged on and the manager’s seat got warmer and warmer.
In recent weeks Newcastle popped up as an interested suitor for the England Under-21 international who for a brief spell looked like he was in contention for a World Cup berth last year. Media sources indicated that Everton had set their valuation for Gordon at £60 million and would not budge, but in the end the two sides have come to an agreement at a pricetag of £40m with a further £5m in performance-related add-ons.
That an agreement would reached was in no doubt once the youngster downed tools this week in an attempt to force a move. In all Gordon refused to attend three days of training sessions, though reports vary if he was given the first day off or not.
Evertonians everywhere are cautiously bemused by Newcastle’s valuation of the young player who had frustrated as much as he has thrilled playing for his boyhood club over the last three seasons, ending his time at the Toffees with seven goals and three assists in 65 league appearances.
Reports from the Northeast indicate that Eddie Howe was personally pushing for the transfer, with the lifelong Evertonian doing the Toffees a huge favour by boosting the club’s war chest when they needed it the most with Premier League Profit & Sustainability rules hamstringing the club’s attempts to bring in players.
Quite how Director of Football Kevin Thelwell managed to hoodwink his counterpart, the revered Dan Ashworth (formerly of Brighton & Hove Albion), into that large a transfer fee and a sell-on clause to boot we’ll never quite know, but hopefully with just a handful of days left in the transfer window we can put the funds to good use with the club committing to give Dyche three-four signings.