Everton are setting their sights firmly on a top-four finish next season, as they launch the biggest spending spree in their history this summer.
On a dramatic day at Goodison Park, the Toffees completed the £54million double swoop of Jordan Pickford and Davy Klaassen on Thursday. And it is almost certain that more signings will be made, as majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri makes funds available for manager Ronald Koeman to build a squad capable of qualifying for the UEFA Champions League.
The arrival of Pickford had been on the cards since the end of last term. Despite Sunderland being relegated last season the goalkeeper enhanced his reputation, and the £30million package Everton have agreed to pay for the 23-year-old makes him not only breaks the clubs transfer record, but it also makes him the most expensive British goalkeeper in history.
“Last season was my first in the Premier League so to get this opportunity with Everton now, to be able to go forward with my career and show everyone what I can do with Everton is unbelievable,” said the England Under-21 international. “It’s a great club, a massive club and I think it’s a great opportunity and the right time for me to come to Everton and show what I can do.”
Klaassen is a product of the Ajax youth system, having linked up with the Amsterdam club as an 11-year-old back in 2004. He made his debut for the first team in 2011 and would go on to make 180 appearances in all competitions, as well as being appointed club captain. A three-time league champion, the midfielder scored 20 goals and assisted in 12 more last season.
“I spoke a few weeks ago with Ronald Koeman about Everton,” said the 24-year-old. “The moment that I spoke with the manager directly I got a good feeling. He’s an honest guy. I talked to him about the club and everything we want to achieve and he was really positive. It’s difficult to leave Ajax but I think this is a good step for me now and I’m really looking forward to my time here.”
Next up for the Toffees could be Malaga striker Sandro Ramirez. The former Barcelona striker was expected to join Atletico Madrid until their transfer ban was confirmed, meaning Koeman will now be relatively confident of taking the 21-year-old for just £6million, as allowed due to a clause in his contract. The Spaniard scored 14 goals in 30 league matches last term.
Swansea City midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson remains a target, although Paul Clement has made it clear he wants the Iceland international to remain at the Liberty Stadium. Everton hope an offer of £25million will persuade the Wels h club to part with the 27-year-old, and a similar fee could also be tabled for England international defender Michael Keane of Burnley.