By George Overhill

4th Aug, 2022 | 5:40pm

Everton confident of signing Amadou Onana after West Ham refuse to meet wage demands

Everton are “increasingly confident” of completing a deal to sign Amadou Onana after West Ham refused to meet his wage demands, The Times reports.

The 20-year-old has cut off talks with the Hammers and prefers a move to Goodison Park, which has allowed the Toffees to match the £33million total fee that the Londoners had agreed with Lille.

The sticking point is apparently wages, with the Belgian international wanting over £100,000-a-week to make the move to the Premier League.

West Ham have refused to meet the required number, allowing Everton to move to the head of the queue for the youngster.

His arrival would be in addition to the re-signing of former Toffee Idrissa Gueye from Paris Saint-Germain, as Frank Lampard looks to significantly strengthen the base of his midfield.

Onana is the latest in a number of shared targets between Goodison and the London Stadium, with Maxwel Cornet on the brink of joining David Moyes after appearing set for Lampard’s squad, and Armando Broja subject of bids from both.

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Magic money

The sudden chance to add two strong options in holding midfield looks to have been too good for the club to pass up, and should make a big difference to the manager’s options if both moves can be completed.

It is a major shift from earlier in the window when the tight financial situation appeared to be a recurring problem and targets continually appeared out of reach.

Out of nowhere the chance to sign Onana because the player prefers a move to Merseyside has brought £33million to the table, and apparently six-figure wages.

There did always look to be money available when bids went in for the likes of Broja and Morgan Gibbs-White, but the ease with which the Gueye and Onana deals appear to be advancing, so soon after agreeing to buy Dwight McNeil for £20million, is a major contrast.

It has to be assumed that the structure of the deals that are getting done is far more manageable than was required for ones that have failed.

The low release-clause of £17.5million for Maxwel Cornet was apparently impossible to pay up front, allowing West Ham to swoop in, so it is somewhat of a surprise that two international midfielders can be added so quickly.

Fans will be pleased to see the squad being strengthened, even belatedly, as the transfer window has suddenly accelerated through the gears, and there may be more still to come.