Everton are set to make a final last-ditch attempt to sign Swansea playmaker Gylfi Sigurdsson following a summer-long pursuit of the Icelandic international.
Ronald Koeman has held talks with the Everton hierarchy to discuss how vital he see’s Sigurdsson as being to the clubs Champions League ambitions. The Dutch coach has urged Bill Kenwright and Alexander Ryazantsev, Farhad Moshiri’s representative, to return with a raised offer after seeing initial £40m and £45m bids rebuffed by the Welsh club.
Long-term Swansea midfielder Leon Britton has spoken publicly of his desire to see Sigurdsson remain with the club, although he believes the Icelandic star will leave for Merseyside this summer.
If rumours are to be believed, Everton are weighing up an offer in the region of £40m in initial cash, £5m in add-ons and Toffees academy player Callum Connolly exchanging clubs on loan. The exact details aren’t fully known, but Everton do value 19 year old Connolly at around £5m following a successful loan spell with Championship club Wigan Athletic last season.
Swansea’s valuation of Sigurdsson has been made clear from the very start – they want £50m to let their star player leave the club. The Welsh outfit will presumably be watching Everton’s contract standoff with Ross Barkley unfold and anticipating that their valuation will be met eventually as Koeman’s side become desperate to plug the hole.
Barkley has already turned down the offer of a new contract with the Toffees, and with less than 12 months remaining on his deal, Everton are keen to cash in before he can leave on a free transfer. While Sandro Ramirez, Davy Klaassen and Wayne Rooney have already arrived to help alleviate their gaps, Sigurdsson is seen as the final piece of the puzzle to replace Romelu Lukaku and Barkley.
Last weekend, six time Icelandic Player of the Year Sigurdsson was left out of the Swansea squad for their pre-season game against Birmingham because of the transfer speculation.
A club statement was promptly released, which read: “Gylfi Sigurdsson will not feature as it was agreed between the club and player that he would sit this game out due to the current transfer speculation surrounding him.”
It feels very much like this week will be make or break for the possibility of a transfer. If Everton cannot agree a fee for Sigurdsson, there’s a distinct probability that he will remain at Swansea for another season at least – which the Jack Army will undoubtedly be delighted to hear.