Everton enter a crucial period of Frank Lampard’s summer reset with continued uncertainty over the ownership swirling over the club.
The £60m sale of Richarlison has given Lampard freedom to explore a number of ambitious transfer targets, including coveted free agents Christian Eriksen and Jesse Lingard. Watford’s Emmanuel Dennis is another player Everton are interested in, with the player understood to be keen to stay in the Premier League after the Hornets’ relegation.
But for all the solid work being done by Lampard and director of football Kevin Thelwell, who will oversee further appointments to the club’s football departments in the next couple of weeks, there is a need for renewed clarity on who will own the club next season.
Farhad Moshiri reportedly broke off talks with a US-based consortium over a £500m takeover of the club on Friday – but that news only brought further questions over his intentions for the club and whether the deal was really dead.
Indeed sources close to the Peter Kenyon-led bid have told i talks are “definitely still ongoing” between the American consortium and Moshiri.
They have predicted further developments next week – although they will not arrive until the middle of the week at the earliest with the 4 July holiday in the US meaning no significant developments on Monday.
The Kenyon bid, which is mainly financed by US real estate mogul Maciek Kaminski and wealthy banker John Thornton, has made detailed plans for the club that include being “visible” on Merseyside.
They told i they “don’t recognise” reports that the deal has broken down now exclusivity has expired and remain committed to completing the deal by the end of July. It would be an equity purchase rather than a leveraged buy out.
But i understands there are at least two other consortia keen to now undertake their own due diligence and speak to Moshiri who are “well financed”.
At the club it is “business as usual” but Moshiri could quell some of the uncertainty by giving an up-to-date statement of intent that would assuage supporters’ concerns that boardroom uncertainty could once again undermine efforts to correct some of the errors of the past.
It is just a few weeks since Moshiri penned an open letter in which he pledged to “move forward” after the club’s disastrous brush with relegation and gave a pledge to deliver the stadium project in full.
But his willingness to entertain a full buyout of the club illustrates that the reality is more complex.
Meanwhile, the club completed a deal for James Tarkowski on Saturday in a move that reveals the foundations Lampard wants to build around.
Tarkowski represents what those inside the club see as a “no brainer” deal. The free agent represents good value for money but also a consistent Premier League performer and good character.
“Both the manager and director of football spoke about the ambition here, which was really important,” he said.