By Jonty Banks

26th May, 2023 | 10:10am

Jordan Pickford future at Everton could hang by a thread after Gareth Southgate 'difficult' England verdict

Jordan Pickford’s future at Everton could be hanging by a threat if the club fail to remain in the Premier League this weekend.

Sean Dyche’s side need to better the results of relegation rivals Leeds United and Leicester City against Bournemouth on Sunday (28 May) to maintain their top-flight status.

If the club were to face relegation though, it would hit no player more than current England No.1 Pickford.

The 29-year-old has been a standout player for the Toffees this season but remains hot property ahead of the summer transfer window, with the likes of Manchester United, Spurs and West Ham all linked with his services over the past few months.

The Toffees shot-stopper did pen a new four-and-a-half-year deal at Goodison Park in February that reportedly didn’t include any relegation clauses within it [Paul Joyce, 23 February], but after hearing England manager Gareth Southgate’s verdict on relegation, a transfer U-turn could well be on the cards.

When asked by reporters whether he could still feasibly select Pickford if he was playing Championship football, Southgate said: “That would depend on how well he was playing.

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“It wouldn’t be ideal because clearly the level of attacks, finishing, and speed of the game would be completely different, so I think it would be difficult, but let’s see what Sunday brings.” [Liverpool Echo, 25 May]

Pickford could be considering his Everton future as it is this summer, but this latest update from Southgate is likely to have a sizeable sway on his transfer decision if the club drop down to the Championship.

With Euro 2024 fast approaching and fellow England competitors Aaron Ramsdale and Nick Pope also chomping at the bit for game time, the former Sunderland star is coming under more and more pressure for his position every month.

A club versus country decision could await the goalkeeper before he knows it, and Everton fans may be fearing the worst if Dyche’s outfit are condemned to second-tier football next year.