Everton have been dealt a blow in their pursuit of England goalkeeper Joe Hart, after Manchester City confirmed that the player will only be allowed to leave the club for £30 million.
It was claimed earlier in the week that the 29-year-old was not keen on a permanent move, with just two weeks of the transfer window remaining for him to make his decision. However, if reports in the Daily Express are to be believed then City are looking to cash in on Hart in order to fund his replacement, believed to be Barcelona’s Claudio Bravo. The Chilean is expected to complete his move to the Etihad Stadium in the coming days, paving the way for Everton to make their move for Hart.
Despite being presented with a £100 million war chest at the beginning of the summer, Toffees boss Ronald Koeman was believed to be keen on a loan move for the Shrewsbury-born shot stopper, but will now have to think carefully about whether he is willing to stump up the cash to sign the player permanently.
Everton are known to be in the market for a top-class goalkeeper as they look to find an undisputed number one to replace the recently departed Tim Howard. It is not often that a player of Hart’s ability becomes available so despite the price tag placed on him, it should be an absolute no-brainer as to whether Koeman continues to pursue his man.
Meanwhile, the Express also report that another Everton target, Lamine Kone, is set to be offered a new deal by current club Sunderland as they attempt to retain the services of the centre-back.
The £50,000-a-week deal, which would reportedly double the current wages of the Ivory Coast international, is set to be offered on September 1. However, it must be questioned as to why, if the Black Cats are serious about keeping Kone, they would not just offer the deal straight away. Instead, promising a new deal the day after the transfer window, when he will be unable to leave the club for another four months seems suspicious, and it is likely that the player and his representatives will see the club’s latest move as a false promise.
The 27-year-old has already expressed his disappointment at how the club have handled his contract situation, and has been outspoken in his desire to leave the club this summer. The report claims that Everton have had a £14 million bid for the player turned down as new manager David Moyes remains determined to keep the player. From the outside, it hardly looks as though he’s doing a good job of it, with every move seemingly making the defender even more intent on a move away from Wearside.
Finally, amid rumours of a move to Hull City, Ronald Koeman has ruthlessly instructed Oumar Niasse to leave Goodison Park “if he likes to play football”.
The comments came in the Dutchman’s pre-match press conference yesterday, when he was asked whether he expected the Senegalese international to move on before the end of August. Niasse joined the Blues from Lokomotiv Moscow in January in a deal worth £13.5 million, but has struggled to settle in at Goodison Park, making just five appearances under Roberto Martinez.
It was widely anticipated that he would be moved on this summer and Koeman’s latest comments have made it clear, in no uncertain terms, that Niasse does not feature in his plans for the season.
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