By Goodison News speaking to Kevin Campbell

21st Jan, 2023 | 12:10pm

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…

Delays to the permanent signing of Conor Coady and a new deal for Jordan Pickford have left Kevin Campbell feeling uneasy about Everton.

Centre-back Coady is on a season-long loan from Wolves, with an option to make the deal permanent for just £4.5million [BBC Sport, 7 October], while an extension to England goalkeeper Pickford’s contract has been in the offing for months.

However, with neither move yet made Sky Sports pundit Campbell is trying to search for rational explanations but has concern that “something’s wrong” behind the scenes.

He exclusively told Goodison News: “I don’t know what’s going on. They might just be taking their time, which happens. 

“If a club like Everton can’t afford three or four million for Conor Coady then something’s wrong. 

“But they’ve got him on loan at the moment so it’s not as if they’re going to miss the opportunity, they’ve got the option.

“Jordan Pickford is already signed, he’s a current player. So they might just be taking their time. 

“Before you know it you might just be seeing Jordan Pickford in a picture, signing his new deal and everything’s hunky dory.

But sometimes we try to look into things a little bit more. 

“Sometimes it just doesn’t feel right when they take more time.”

A report from the Daily Mail on 27 December said that a hold up at the level of the Everton board had left the Pickford contract hanging, which has alerted Premier League rivals to the possibility that the Toffees star might be available.

At the same time, Coady’s inability to play against his parent club for the 2-1 defeat on Boxing Day was highlighted by Richard Keys in his 27 December blog post as reason to suggest that there are still major financial problems at the club.

While both continue to be Toffees regulars, at least until the next game against Wolves, it perhaps isn’t a pressing issue, but on top of the fact that the club is struggling to strengthen in January so far and is racking up bad result after bad result it isn’t doing anything to reassure supporters that the club isn’t in a total mess behind closed doors.