By Daniel Feliciano

21st Nov, 2022 | 5:10pm

Chelsea scouting Everton star Jordan Pickford in Qatar, journalist 'surprised' if deal happens

Chelsea are scouting Jordan Pickford during the World Cup in Qatar, but Simon Phillips would be surprised if they signed him from Everton in 2023.

The Everton and England number one has been subject to big interest in a transfer away from Goodison Park in recent months with Chelsea among those interested.

But after a report over the weekend claimed that the London club would be keeping an eye on the 28 year old ahead of a potential summer move, Phillips took to his Patreon (20 November) to confirm it’s legitimacy before sharing that there are other candidates too and he would be surprised if the club settled on Pickford.

“There are other names,” he said. “And I was since able to deliver a few more of those names, including Robert Sanchez, Mike Maignan, Unai Simon, Emi Martinez, and Diogo Costa.

“Again, I don’t expect these to be the only names being considered. And that is key here, these names are just being considered, it’s entirely normal and wise to have big shortlists for each position we are looking to sign in, especially if we have some time (goalkeeper is not expected to be address until the summer).

“Pickford’s contract expires in 2024, and although he is on this list, I’d personally be very surprised if we did pursue him.

“If you look at the fact that Mendy has been dropped by Graham Potter for not being as good with his feet as Kepa Arrizbalaga, you’d question then why Pickford is even being considered, and that would be a fair question.

“But I believe our interest in Pickford comes initially from the summer, and our previous owners, as well as Thomas Tuchel, had him down as a potential name of interest.

“That interest IS still there under the new owners, but I guess time will tell just how serious that interest is.”

Reward

Everton need to reward Pickford with a new contract, because if anyone in the club deserves big wages it’s him for his performances in recent years.

It’s no surprise that he is wanted by other clubs, and clubs competing for trophies and playing in Europe, but the fact that he is also open to staying at the club is testament to his character and commitment.

Talks for a new deal are reportedly ongoing but with only a year remaining on his current terms once we hit the summer window, it’s imperative that we get it done quickly to avoid any dramas.

Replacing him would be the hardest and most difficult job this club has had in a long time and with so many other issues at Everton right now, it’s not something that we want added to the list.

A big performance in Qatar is only likely to intensify rumours heading into the new year, so strap in for a long period of speculation.