By George Overhill

16th Sep, 2023 | 9:40am

Everton were ready to sell Amadou Onana this summer amid Manchester United links, eyed 'tidy profit' for Sean Dyche regular

If interest in Amadou Onana had been “firmed up” this summer then Everton would likely have cashed in on him, according to Paul Joyce.

The Times journalist reported for the newspaper’s website (15 September) that there was a “feeling” the Toffees would have been ready to sell the regular in midfield if a proper offer had been made, as they were thinking there was a “tidy profit” to be made on him.

In the market that saw Declan Rice move to Arsenal and Moises Caicedo to Chelsea for over £100million each Everton were hoping they could get in on the action, but after the two London sides had shown interest in January they were focused on the alternatives by the summer.

According to Joyce Manchester United were “linked” in the summer but “Onana never truly felt like he was first choice for any club” so he stayed at Goodison Park.

In house

There was always a suspicion that a large offer could tempt the club to sacrifice one of their star men, and earlier in the summer it felt like that was pretty likely given the number of sides signing midfielders.

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At one stage it felt like the main concern would be that other transfers would have filled gaps and lowered the price when he did eventually go, so it was somewhat of a surprise that no club properly tested the Toffees.

Having arrived from Lille for £33.5million a year ago [Sky Sports] it wouldn’t have been difficult to make a decent profit in this summer’s market, but as it stands he remains central to Sean Dyche’s midfield.

While the Belgian international has played every minute in the Premier League so far this season, and made 33 appearances in the top flight last season, there is a suspicion that he hasn’t reached his best at Everton yet.

One goal and two assists, and few games where he has really dominated, might be part of the wider malaise at the club, but the 22-year-old is still young and should become more central the longer he features regularly.

While the takeover talk off the pitch is ongoing it feels like the fact that virtually anyone in the Toffees squad is always available for the right price won’t change, whether it goes through or not, so should interest spark up again in January or next summer it wouldn’t be a shock to see the club take the money.

In other Everton news, the club’s shareholders association has slammed the takeover announcement.