By Richard Parks
Everton did not get much right in last summer’s transfer window.
They may as well have set fire to Farhad Moshiri’s money as spent it on most of the waifs, strays and never-weres who arrived in a blitz of new arrivals.
They also sold their prize asset in Romelu Lukaku and misguidedly replaced him with three mediocre number 10s rather than a top-notch number nine, before partly alleviating the error with the January capture of Cenk Tosun.
Losing the Belgian centre-forward was painful, but the ointment to the wounds has been laid bare through the £15million of add-ons negotiated as part of his transfer to Manchester United.
A cache of contract information, obtained by the German news magazine Der Spiegel and published in the book Football Leaks: Uncovering The Dirty Deals Behind The Beautiful Game and cited by the Daily Mail, claim the Merseyside giants secured some extraordinary add-ons in the summer 2017 deal.
It is said that Everton were paid a transfer fee of £75million by the Premier League giants for Lukaku but it will be topped up by further payouts if targets are hit.
The Merseysiders are on course for a £10million windfall if Lukaku scores 23 goals in each of his first four seasons at Manchester United. There will also be a further £5million to Everton if Lukaku extends his contract beyond June 2022 or leaves United.
Credit to the Everton board, and majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri, who is the ultimate decision-maker, for the add-ons masterstroke and for negotiating a deal that will enable their club to rake in cash for Lukaku in the coming years. As performance-related targets go, they are pretty achievable ones, too.
Certainly, the £5million due if Lukaku signs a contract extension or quits Old Trafford is nailed-on. The only way Everton won’t get this payout is if the powerhouse striker is forced into early retirement, which is unlikely given that he is 25 and entering his peak years.
The further £10million of add-ons for goals scored are also likely, as Lukaku has flown past the 23-goal mark in his first campaign at Old Trafford, which was the third year in a row he had done so after and netting 26 times for Everton in 2016-17 and 25 times in 2015-16.
The Belgian brings a cast-iron guarantee of scoring goals and it appears that only a serious injury in one of the next three seasons will prevent him hitting the second of the performance-related targets.
£90million in total for Lukaku was sound negotiating work from Everton, particularly as it was done before the Neymar-PSG transformed the transfer market to a whole new level of craziness.
Certainly, Everton have failed to adequately replace him, but at least they are on course to land £90million for the sale.