Everton’s director of football Marcel Brands has suggested the club were wasting their time trying to sign Wilfried Zaha from Crystal Palace last summer.
The Toffees were heavily linked with the £130,000-a-week (Spotrac) Ivorian forward towards the end of the window, but a move never materialised.
The club ended up signing Alex Iwobi from Arsenal in a deal that could reportedly reach £34 million (BBC Sport).
Despite also being strongly linked with Arsenal in the summer, Zaha ended up staying at Selhurst Park.
Although he hasn’t had his best season, Zaha might well have helped Everton into a healthier position had he completed a move to Goodison Park, but Brands has suggested a move was never really on.
He told a general meeting (Evening Standard): “Look at last summer, from the start there were a lot of rumours and news that we would like to take Zaha.
“And if you see our numbers then you know it is not realistic for Everton to buy a player for £60m, £70m, £80m.
“So that kind of expectation is sometimes a different kind of expectation for fans and it is not realistic and we have to manage that.”
It was reported that Palace wanted no less than £80 million for the former Manchester United player, meaning Everton would have had to obliterate their transfer record in order to get him.
TBR’s view – Brands comments won’t wash
Brands’ words are unlikely to go down well with the Everton faithful.
Had the club been more shrewd, a move for Zaha might have been feasible.
Everton could have cashed in on poor performers such as Morgan Schneiderlin, Cenk Tosun and Theo Walcott as a means of raising the required funds.
Everton have shown they are capable of spending big with the captures of Richarlison and Gylfi Sigurdsson, so fans are likely to take a dim view of Brands’ take on Zaha.