'Rejected out-of-hand' - Everton suffer blow in pursuit of proven PL performer - report
By Danny Wright
Everton have had their initial £10million bid for goalkeeper Jordan Pickford turned down by Sunderland, according to a report.
The Mirror claims that the Toffees have had their bid “rejected out-of-hand” by the Premier League’s basement boys, who are looking for a figure of double the amount offered.
It is also understood that the Merseyside club’s pursuit of Kasper Schmeichel has ended because he doesn’t have a buy-out clause in his contract.
According to the Mirror, Everton would have to splash out a club record fee of around £30million if they wish to sign the Leicester ‘keeper.
Pickford has been one of few bright lights in what has been a very poor season for Sunderland.
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Despite their relegation from the Premier League, the 23-year-old has proven himself at the level and was named on the shortlist to win the PFA young player of the year award.
The former England-Under 21 international has made 31 appearances across all competitions this term for David Moyes’ team, but has only managed to keep five clean sheets.
Sunderland’s plight wasn’t helped during the winter period as Pickford missed nine games in all competitions due to a knee injury.
He has represented England at all youth levels between Under-16 and Under-21 and, despite a number of call-ups, he is still awaiting his first senior cap.
Football Insider Verdict
Everton cannot expect that £10million will be enough to sign a young, English prospect. Pickford is a Sunderland lad and has been one of the best products their academy has produced in quite a long time, so there’s no way they will be able to get him on the cheap. Ronald Koeman definitely has a problem to sort out in goal as Maarten Stekelenburg and Joel Robles are not up to scratch with the level of the rest of the squad. Pickford could be the ‘keeper that takes Everton to where they want to be and could become a Goodison Park hero over the next ten years. The Toffees should definitely up their bid to try and lure him away from Sunderland.