Everton’s turbulent season descended into further chaos on Tuesday when Marcelo Bielsa expressed doubts over replacing Frank Lampard and Tottenham hijacked the club’s move for Arnaut Danjuma.
Bielsa is the preferred candidate of Everton’s owner Farhad Moshiri and has been approached about a Premier League return 11 months after being sacked by Leeds. The 67-year-old, however, needs to be convinced about taking over in a relegation battle. It is believed the Argentinian has reservations over the state of a club that has sacked six permanent managers in just under seven years and the suitability of the squad to his methods.
Everton desperately need to improve their attacking options in the final days of the transfer window but a proposed loan for Villarreal’s Danjuma has fallen through, with the player heading to Spurs.
The Netherlands international passed a medical at Everton over the weekend, agreed personal terms and even posed for publicity shots. Everton planned to announce what would have been their first signing of the window on Monday or yesterday but Danjuma refused to submit his registration forms to the Football Association amid the uncertainty at the club. That enabled Spurs to make a loan offer to the former Bournemouth player and he has travelled to London to complete that deal instead.
Lampard had been heavily involved in the move for Danjuma with Everton’s director of football Kevin Thelwell. Lampard had previously seen interest in Danny Ings, Kevin Schade and Georginio Rutter come to nothing with the strikers joining West Ham, Brentford and Leeds respectively.
Everton could raise funds by selling Anthony Gordon and the homegrown forward, who Lampard refused to sell to Chelsea for £40 million last summer, is wanted by Newcastle. The two clubs are far apart in their valuation, however, and Everton’s managerial situation could affect Gordon’s future. The 21-year-old was set to sign a new contract in December before falling out of favour with Lampard.
Bielsa is not the only candidate under consideration by the Everton board. There has been contact with representatives of former Burnley manager Sean Dyche, who is available, and West Bromwich Albion coach Carlos Corberán, who worked with Bielsa at Leeds, is also of interest. Former Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhüttl is another option. - Guardian