Everton settle on Pickford

Everton could make Jordan Pickford the most expensive British goalkeeper ever. The deal with the Sunderland man could rise to £30 million if all the add-ons are met.
Everton could make Jordan Pickford the most expensive British goalkeeper ever. The deal with the Sunderland man could rise to £30 million if all the add-ons are met.

LONDON • Everton have agreed a £30 million (S$52.7 million) deal to sign Sunderland goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, according to British media reports yesterday.

Pickford was Everton manager Ronald Koeman's top target to take over from Maarten Stekelenburg and Joel Robles, who both endured inconsistent spells last season.

Sunderland have accepted an offer from Everton, which could rise to £30 million with various add-ons included in the package. The structure of the deal, however, has yet to be finalised.

England Under-21 international Pickford was one of the few bright spots as Sunderland were relegated from the Premier League last season. He earned a call-up to England's senior ranks in October and has represented the country at each of the six youth levels from Under-16 upwards.

Should the terms of each of the add-ons be met, Pickford would become Everton's record signing, eclipsing the £28 million they paid for Romelu Lukaku in 2014.

The fee is short of the £35 million Manchester City parted with earlier in the close season to land Brazilian 'keeper Ederson, though Pickford would be the most expensive British goalkeeper ever.

That honour currently belongs to Southampton's Fraser Forster, who cost £10 million in 2014.

Pickford has postponed a decision on his future until after the European Under-21 Championship in Poland.

He said last week: "I have spoken to my agent and told him that I just want to concentrate on the Euros and be the best I can be. I'll see where it takes me."

He could be joined at Everton by several other expensive recruits this summer with the club, guided by director of football Steve Walsh, also keen on Ajax captain Davy Klaassen, who is likely to cost around £25 million, Swansea City's Gylfi Sigurdsson and Burnley defender Michael Keane.

Everton are also in talks with the Malaga striker Sandro Ramirez, who has a €6 million (S$9.3 million) release clause in his contract, and hope to agree terms with the Atletico Madrid target this week.

REUTERS, THE GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 14, 2017, with the headline 'Everton settle on Pickford'. Print Edition | Subscribe