By George Overhill

25th Jan, 2023 | 4:40pm

Everton miss out on Ben Brereton Diaz as Blackburn striker agrees five-year deal elsewhere

Ben Brereton Diaz’s future is finally resolved but it is more bad news for Everton as he has agreed a move to Villarreal, according to Football Transfers.

The Blackburn forward has been linked to a Premier League move throughout the last year after hitting 22 Championship goals last season.

The Chile international was on the Toffees’ shortlist at the end of the summer window [Alan Myers, 17 August], while TEAMtalk reported as recently as 7 January that the club were still looking at him alongside Coventry’s Viktor Gyokeres.

According to Football Transfers they have been unsuccessful in their pursuit and he has now signed a five-year deal to move to La Liga at the end of his Ewood Park contract in the summer.

The report says that he has already completed his medical last week and the pre-contract deal is now “wrapped up”.

It adds: “We are told that Everton had tried to sign Diaz in the summer but their initial loan offer was knocked back and they instead bought Neal Maupay from Brighton.”

Another blow

Landing Maupay hasn’t turned out to be especially beneficial, and the news that Brereton Diaz’s long awaited next move is now set for elsewhere is not the news Toffees fans wanted to hear.

News they do want to hear is pretty thin on the ground at the moment, especially with Arnaut Danjuma abandoning his loan deal at the last minute in favour of a move to Tottenham.

Everton have missed out on various attacking targets already, with Frank Lampard paying for the deficiencies going forward with his job on Monday (23 January).

His departure is sure not to be a positive in the race to bring in much-needed reinforcements before the window closes, with the uncertainty over the next manager compounding the issue of already being only goal-difference off the bottom of the table.

Blackburn were desperate to keep hold of Brereton Diaz for the rest of the season as they push for promotion, and as such he was seen as a tricky target in the winter window.

They have got that wish but he won’t be available at all now for the interested parties, with his move to Villarreal meaning Everton once again will need to move on to other targets.

The hierarchy are going to have to appoint a manager first to provide some semblance of normality going forward, otherwise the risk is that Danjuma jumping ship, and the apparent exit of Anthony Gordon, puts off any potential additions until the window shuts.