Everton might have agreed personal terms with Italy international forward Wilfried Gnonto, but now it looks like they are going to have to batten down for a long-drawn battle with Leeds United who insist the player is not for sale.
The Blues have been linked with a pursuit of the diminutive player pretty much from the beginning of the summer, and in just the last couple of days it appears they had made a breakthrough with the player’s camp, both sides coming to an agreement on contract details.
However, earlier today Leeds issued a press statement indicating that they would not be selling the player under any circumstances despite the player refusing to play. Gnonto made himself unavailable for their Wednesday night Carabao Cup win, but then trained for the next couple of days before again saying he would not be available for this weekend’s Championship fixture.
Earlier this week, Willy Gnonto and his representatives were informed by the club that he would not be sold this summer.
Following those conversations, Willy felt he was unable to play in Wednesday night’s Carabao Cup tie with Shrewsbury Town.
Despite training for the last two days, Willy has informed Daniel Farke that he still does not feel able to play this weekend and has not travelled to Birmingham for the game tomorrow.
This is now an internal disciplinary matter and the club will make no further comment, other than to reiterate that Willy Gnonto is not for sale.
This does put the Blues in an awkward spot — should they hold on in hope that resolution can be found, or should they move on towards other targets? A similar situation already unfolded during the January transfer window as well with Mohamed Kudus of Ajax Amsterdam, where the player downed tools asking for a move but was eventually convinced by his club to stay on.
The Toffees have been recently linked with PSG striker Hugo Ekitike as well, but reports seem to indicate that while the two clubs are in agreement there, it’s the player who has to make the decision whether he wants to leave or not.