Everton are said to be preparing a bumper new contract for former Sunderland goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, as they seek to fend off interest from Chelsea for the 24-year-old. Pickford enjoyed a wonderful World Cup for England at this summer’s tournament in Russia, and so inevitable links away from Merseyside have arisen for one of the nation’s newest treasures. The Stamford Bridge outfit are looking around for candidates to potentially replace Real Madrid-bound Thibaut Courtois, and Pickford is high on the list of targets on new manager Maurizio Sarri’s radar. The Toffees, then, have had to compile a large pay rise in the hopes of keeping Pickford between the sticks rather than have to seek a replacement.
Pickford only arrived on Merseyside last summer and signed a five year deal, and so finds himself in an enviable position at this juncture. Chelsea do have other players in mind, however, and so Everton’s gesture may well prove big enough to retain the services of one of the stars of the summer. Should the ex-Preston loanee remain with the Toffees, Chelsea may find themselves making a move for Pickford’s England understudy Jack Butland – who would come at a considerably cheaper outlay consider Stoke’s relegation to the Championship at the end of last season. Another player being considered is ex-Blue Petr Cech, and the club are thought to be interested in bringing their legend back for a second spell in west London from Arsenal.
There could be a spanner in the works if they choose to pursue their interest in Cech, however, with Arsenal also having to do some work to keep David Ospina at the club, and as a result the Gunners will likely stand firm to potentially avoid losing two of their senior custodians. Ironically, Ospina has been linked with Everton, perhaps as understudy or replacement for Pickford? They have added Bernd Leno to their ranks and so there may be scope for either Cech or Ospina to depart, but the chances of letting both leave as part of this merrygoround seem slim. It could be argued that Liverpool have done well to get their goalkeeping situation sorted so quickly, having captured Alisson from Roma for a world record fee for a keeper.
That leaves Simon Mignolet and Loris Karius wondering what the future may hold of course, but across Stanley Park Everton find themselves with one of the finest shot stoppers in the Premier League and need to do their utmost to ensure that situation remains the same. They have done the right thing in moving quickly to ensure he is valued at the club, and that is something so important to a player enjoying such a meteoric rise as Pickford has over the past two years or so. He could prove to be Everton’s best signing of the summer, with no disrespect meant towards club record signing Richarlison of course.
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