By Goodison News speaking to Kevin Campbell

20th Jan, 2023 | 5:10pm

We’re delighted to welcome former Everton striker Kevin Campbell as our exclusive columnist. Each week the former Toffees captain will be giving his views on the biggest talking points at Goodison Park…

Everton stalling on a new contract for Jordan Pickford might convince the keeper to decide he has had enough and leave, fears Kevin Campbell.

The England number one has been in line for a new deal for some time, but the Daily Mail reported on 27 December that an unexplained delay at boardroom level had alerted the likes of Chelsea, Tottenham, and Manchester United to the possibility of a move.

Sky Sports pundit Campbell believes it is sure to be about money but worries that further delays, or even a decision from the board to cash in during the January window, will leave fans even unhappier than they already are.

Speaking exclusively to Goodison News he said: “Anything that’s at board level is usual about pounds and pence. 

“They might just be taking a rain check on the numbers, I don’t know. 

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“He’s England’s number one. He’s a very, very good goalkeeper. He’s due a renewal.

“We’re going to find out, whether it’s good, bad, or indifferent it’s going to come out in the wash.”

Considering whether the board could cash in this month on interest from the big six clubs he added: “I wouldn’t put anything past them. Nothing in football surprises me any more. 

“It’s going to alert other teams isn’t it? England’s number one. He’s young, he’s still got a lot of room for growth.

“And if Everton are stalling on a new contract at board level the player might just turn round and say, ‘Do you know what? Get me out of here.’

“That could happen if they keep stalling him, so I’m going to be watching this space with interest, keen interest.

“I don’t know what shape the club is in financially. There was talk of new owners taking over but that seems to have gone quiet. So they have to play the hand they are dealt. 

“The board are going to do whatever they need to do, and if it’s to the detriment of the playing staff then there’s going to be a lot of very disappointed fans.”

The absolute last thing that Frank Lampard needs when he is desperately hoping to have his squad strengthened during the winter window is to lose one of the key men he already has at his disposal.

Perhaps there is nothing to worry about and Pickford will end up with a new Everton contract when the time is right, but when all indications are that the player is happy to stay, and the manager has made clear he wants him there, the fact that it hasn’t already been tied up is a concern.

Chelsea are spending wildly so a bid can’t ever be entirely ruled out, although a midseason exit to any of the three sides named as suitors seems unlikely, but reaching the end of the campaign without an extension would make offers from Old Trafford, Stamford Bridge and the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium no surprise.