Everton Europe’s heaviest spenders

- Reuters, LONDON

Jul 4, 2017-

Everton, once known as England’s Bank of England club, are returning to their high-spending ways by becoming Europe’s heaviest spenders in the transfer window.

The Toffees are expected to pay £24 million ($31 million) for Burnley centre half Michael Keane on Monday to take their overall investment to £80 million this transfer window as they attempt to build a side capable of breaking into Premier League’s top four next season. Other arrivals include Ajax midfielder Davy Klaassen (£23 million), Sunderland goalkeeper Jordan Pickford (£25 million) and Henry Onyekuru (£6.8 million).

Everton are also in negotiations to sign Malaga’s striker Sandro Ramirez for a fee of £5.2 million and have been linked with a possible move for former player Wayne Rooney. Their spending has outstripped city rivals Liverpool, who have so far paid £37 million for Mo Salah, and every other club across the continent, although the picture may change as bigger clubs tie down summer deals.

Everton were given the moneybags sobriquet, originally coined for Sunderland in the 1950s, when they were backed by funds from the Littlewoods Catalogue Empire in the 1960s, investment that led to them winning the title in 1970. Everton’s latest splurge in the transfer market comes on the back of a £19 million net spend in January. The cash outlay reflects both their improved finances since the arrival of co-owner Farhad Moshiri, the Iranian billionaire who bought a 49.9 percent stake last year, and the possible departure of striker Romelu Lukaku, who is expected to join either Chelsea or Manchester United for a fee of up to £100 million. Broadcaster Skysports reported that Keane, 24, underwent a medical at Everton’s Finch Farm training centre on Monday following three successful seasons at Burnley, who he joined from boyhood club Manchester United. 

The centre-half had been linked with a possible return to Old Trafford before United signed Victor Lindelof from Benfica. Strong in the tackle with a good positional sense, Keane won two caps for England last season when he was shortlisted for the Professional Football Association Young Player of the Year award.

In May, Everton manager Ronald Koeman said the club intended to invest over the summer with the intention of reaching the Champions League for the first time since the 2005-06 season. “We have a very powerful and exciting project, and we’re going to strengthen as best as possible to try and reach the Champions League next season,” Koeman said.

‘United’s pre-season will boost players’

London: Manchester United’s packed pre-season schedule with seven matches to be played in a little over two weeks will boost players’ fitness and prepare them for start of the 2017-18 Premier League campaign, defender Phil Jones has said.

United, who finished sixth in the league last season, start their pre-season fixtures with a five-match tour of the United States where they face Los Angeles Galaxy, Real Salt Lake, Manchester City, Real Madrid and Barcelona. The Europa League winners round out their tour with a trip to Norwegian side Valerenga in Oslo before a trip to Ireland where they face Italy’s Sampdoria.

“The more matches you play, the more match-fit you are and seven games will give everyone a chance. to get minutes under their belts. You need everyone at a good level for the start of the season,” Jones said.  The tour will be the second under manager Jose Mourinho, who joined the club last May, and Jones says that the Portuguese will have every detail of the tour planned out.  

“We know exactly what the manager expects from us and he knows the players inside and out. He’ll have organised this pre-season period exactly how he wants it,” Jones said. “I’m sure it will be a great tour.” 

After their pre-season run, United take on Champions League winners Real Madrid in the Uefa Super Cup in Macedonia on August 8, four days before the start of the new league campaign. (Reuters)

Published: 04-07-2017 09:33

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