The Brazil international has agreed a five-year deal to join the London club, after some fraught and apparently acrimonious negotiations with Everton over a deal that could rise to £60m.
An announcement is expected later this afternoon to confirm the signing following the forward’s medical, as the two clubs came to a compromise agreement following days of talks. The deal has already been confirmed with the Premier League – who effectively set a deadline of June 30 for Everton to comply with their profit and sustainability regulations relating to permitted debt over a three year period.
The Goodison club needed at least £50m in what amounted to a process of balancing their books for the current financial year, which ends on Thursday. The sale of one of their best players was realistically the only way they could bring funds into the club so swiftly, and that explains the agreement so early in the transfer window, which has caused anger amongst much of the Blues fanbase.
Spurs chairman Daniel Levy met with his Everton counterpart Bill Kenwright in a London restaurant on Monday evening, as the Premier League deadline grew closer. Negotiations are said to have been tense, with Levy undercutting previous offers as the cut off date approached. Those financial constraints meant the Merseyside club’s hands were tied in any deal, but it is understood that an agreement was reached which could see the deal rise to £60m with achievable add-ons.
Everton will now hope the deal will satisfy the Premier League’s scrutiny and allow them to comply with the profit and sustainability regulations. Relegated Burnley and Leeds were amongst clubs who had questioned the leeway Everton have been given in debt analysis from the governing body over the past 18 months, leading to calls for sanctions to be implemented. Any penalties for exceeding maximum debts over the past three years are likely to include a transfer ban, and also a ban on giving any players already at the club new contracts.
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Everton were also aware that the penalties could go even further, with a points deduction an option if a breach of the regulations was deemed serious enough. The Blues turned down an offer from Tottenham for Anthony Gordon as part of a package deal alongside Richarlison, and they also turned down proposals to include Spurs players in any package.
But that does raise the prospect of Everton now returning during the current transfer window to pursue the likes of Harry Winks or Steven Bergwijn, who manager Frank Lampard has expressed an interest in. Effectively, the way debts are calculated means that after June 30, Everton have freedom to make new signings, providing they can balance the books with fresh revenue streams or player sales.
With takeover talks still rumbling on in the background, as a consortium fronted by former Manchester United CEO Peter Kenyon ‘apparently’ explores options to buy the club, there is a prospect of the Blues securing fresh capital to delve into the transfer market. Lampard knows he needs significant reinforcements after flirting with relegation in his first season, and owner Farhad Moshiri knows he must find extra investment to fund that, following the loss of sponsorship and backing from his long term business partner Alisher Usmanov.