Everton could return for Wilfried Gnonto and Kamaldeen Sulemana after Demarai Gray transfer news
Everton could reignite their interest in Championship duo Wilfried Gnonto of Leeds United and Kamaldeen Sulemana from Southampton after agreeing to sell Demarai Gray to Al-Ettifaq.
Gray is set to leave Everton in the coming hours after they agreed a £10million deal for the Jamaican international to join the Saudi Arabian side [Alan Myers, 6 September].
This transfer may open the door for Everton to move for two of their key summer transfer targets, with the incoming funds available for reinvestment in big-money deals, with wingers the priority.
With Gray now set to leave Goodison Park, there is a clear absence of depth out wide, with Alex Iwobi’s move to Fulham leaving a gap that will be made even more obvious by Gray’s departure.
After the Jamaican international leaves, Sean Dyche will be left with a choice between Dwight McNeil, Jack Harrison and youngster Lewis Dobbin to choose from for the two wide positions, while Arnaut Danjuma and James Garner are also capable of playing there, but prefer other positions.
Iwobi had started the season as the preferred option of the left-hand side, with Garner on the right, although it was widely recognised that both would prefer to be playing centrally. Iwobi then left to join Fulham on deadline day, leaving even fewer options.
As a result, Everton may look to go big in the January transfer window by landing one of their key targets from the summer, particularly should either Leeds or Southampton be struggling for form in the Championship, with the allure of Premier League football ringing strong.
The Merseyside club failed in their pursuit of Gnonto in particular, who had been looking to force through a move, but Leeds’ £30million valuation proved too high for Everton to match. Now, though, with the additional £10million from Gray’s sale, Everton may have raised the funds to make a move more realistic.
A report from BBC journalist Shamoon Hafez on deadline day claimed the Toffees had made a £25.7million bid for Gnonto, which fell short of Leeds’ valuation, but with the Gray money now in their pocket, the deal could be made.
Southampton were demanding the same fee for any club interested in Sulemana [The Athletic, 1 September], with Everton watching on despite not making an official move, and should Gnonto opt to remain at Leeds, a deal for the Ghanaian could provide an alternative.
These are certainly two to watch.
In other Everton news, David Ornstein shared an update on Gray’s exit situation.