Jordan Pickford could be the first of several expensive signings heading to Everton during the course of the summer transfer window.
Having finished well short of qualifying for the UEFA Champions League once again last season – they finished in seventh place and 15 points adrift of fourth-placed Liverpool – the Toffees are determined to improve on this next term. Manager Ronald Koeman has been told he has cash to spend during the summer, and it looks as though he will not be shy in using the chequebook.
It has been widely reported that the Goodison Park club are in advanced talks with Sunderland over a £30million deal for Pickford, who is now regarded as one of the best talents in the country. Despite picking the ball out of the net more times than he would care to remember as the Black Cats were relegated, the 23-year-old is tipped to become England’s number one.
Pickford is currently away in Poland on international duty, as he and his team-mates prepare to face Sweden in their opening game of the Under-21 European Championships on Friday. It is unlikely his move to Merseyside will be rubberstamped until his return from this competition, but in the meantime, the two clubs are negotiating the structure of the transfer fee.
Koeman also has plenty of other targets in mind ahead of the new season, and the capture of all would see his spending cruise past the £100million mark. Gylfi Sigurdsson has been linked with Everton for several weeks now, and although Swansea City are reluctant to part with the player who did most to keep them in the Premier League last season, a bid of around £25million is likely.
Holland international Davy Klaassen, who captains Ajax and has scored 44 goals in 126 league matches from midfield, is another target, although the 24-year-old’s employers would want £25million to release him. And such a price would also be demanded from Burnley when, as expected, Koeman knocks on the Turf Moor door to enquire about their central defender Michael Keane, 24.
One player who would cost a fraction of this recurring figure is Malaga star Sandro Ramirez. With Atletico Madrid’s transfer ban seemingly ruling them out of the running for the time being, the Toffees are in pole position for a player who scored 14 goals in 30 league appearances last season. The 21-year-old has a release clause in his contract of around £6million.