Another shattering Everton transfer blow as 24-yr-old headed to PL giants (not Lukaku) - report
By Harry Sykes
Everton will miss out on the signing of top summer target Michael Keane to Manchester United, according to a report.
The Times claim United are “very close” to wrapping up the signing of centre-back Keane, 24, from Burnley.
It is said that the two clubs are in talks over a deal that is likely to cost around £25million and, barring any last-minute hitches, the defender will return to the club who sold him for £2million in January 2015.
The Times report that Everton had been confident of beating United to the signing of the England international after making a strong push for him.
It was felt by the Merseysiders’ recruitment staff that Keane could strengthen their ageing backline but manager Ronald Koeman and director of football Steve Walsh will now have to turn their attention elsewhere.
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It is a second reported shattering transfer blow to Everton of the day after it was claimed by Spanish publication Estadio Deportivo that striker Sandro Ramirez has snubbed their contract offer in favour of a move to Atletico Madrid.
Meanwhile, in a third item of major Everton transfer news, Sky Sports Italy correspondent Gianluca Di Marzio has claimed on his personal website that the club are set to open £70million transfer talks with Premier League rivals Chelsea over the sale of Romelu Lukaku.
Football Insider verdict:
Frustration must be reaching fever pitch among Koeman and the recruitment team headed by Walsh. Strong plays for Keane and Ramirez are set to result in disappointment, while prize asset Lukaku is seemingly headed for Everton. That’s the bad news, as is the absence of Champions League football or title-challenging pedigree to seduce the big hitters. The good news is that Everton are cash-rich and have deep pockets. Expect plenty more jostling with the elite clubs in what is shaping up to be a summer of whirlwind transfer activity.
In other Everton transfer news, the club will now turn their sights to a new striker target available at a bargain price after missing out on Sandro Ramirez.