Everton: Deal for Euros star imminent; Kone update; Palace star on the brink
Following the inevitable departure of John Stones to Manchester City yesterday, Everton are reportedly on the verge of completing a £12 million deal for Swansea City defender Ashley Williams as they seek out a replacement for the £47.5 million man.
Reports yesterday claimed that the South Wales club had accepted Everton’s offer for Williams and the player was en route to Merseyside to discuss personal terms and undergo a medical. The Toffees have wasted no time in replacing Stones as they prepare for the beginning of the Premier League season, which gets underway in just three days time.
According to the South Wales Evening Post, Swansea’s new US owners did their best to retain the services of the Welsh international, who was one of his country’s standout performers as they reached the semi-final of this summer’s European Championship, but were forced to reluctantly agree to the transfer once the player made clear his desire to move to Goodison Park. At 31, Williams cannot be blamed for wanting to test himself at a bigger club, and it would be difficult to make the argument that he does not deserve the chance to prove himself at a club such as Everton.
After joining the Swans from Stockport County in 2008, when the club were still competing in League One, Williams has arguably been the backbone of the Swans’ Premier League success following their promotion five years ago. He has grown significantly as a player in that time, transforming himself into one of the Premier League’s best defenders, something which led to speculation of a move to Arsenal. However, it appears as though Everton have won the race for the Wolverhampton-born man, and if he can continue his inspirational performances from the last few seasons then he will be a welcome addition to what was a rather porous defensive unit last season.
Meanwhile, another defender that has been linked with a move to Goodison Park is Sunderland’s Lamine Kone. However, his agent has today claimed that the defender will train with the Black Cats ahead of their season opener against Manchester City on Saturday, and is currently awaiting the offer of a new contract from his current employers.
The Evening Chronicle reports that Everton originally had a £15.3 million bid for the player rejected and have subsequently upped their offer to around £18 million. The report claims that Sunderland are reluctant to sell a player who was so important to them ensuring Premier League safety last campaign, but if reports emerging in the media this morning are true then Manchester United defenders Paddy McNair and Donald Love could be on their way to the North East shortly, potentially paving the way for Kone’s departure.
Finally, the Guardian are reporting that Everton are closing in on the £28 million signing of Crystal Palace winger Yannick Bolasie. If true, the fee for the 27-year-old would equal the club record fee paid for Romelu Lukaku in 2014, although the deal is believed to be structured in order to include add-ons.
With the Eagles currently in talks with Liverpool over the signing of Christian Benteke, the money that they could receive from selling Bolasie may be seen as a way to fund the signing of the Belgian international. Following the signing of Andros Townsend earlier this summer, Bolasie faces competition for his spot on the left side of Palace’s attack and interest from Everton, who are known to be in the market for a left winger, may be enough to turn the player’s head.
After a season where Aaron Lennon, Kevin Mirallas and Arouna Kone all shone at times on the left, but failed to do enough to make the position their own, Everton’s new director of football Steve Walsh has identified Bolasie as the man to fill the role. Alongside Wilfried Zaha, the DR Congo international has caused mayhem for opposition defences as part of Crystal Palace’s counter-attacking system which has worked wonders under Alan Pardew. The thought of him lining up alongside Gerard Deulofeu and providing the ammunition for Romelu Lukaku seems an exciting prospect, however, Bolasie’s final ball is one aspect of his game that lets him down. For the fee that is being mooted, Everton will hope for a better return than the four Premier League assists he managed in 2015/16.
Featured image: all rights reserved by halley37
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