Roberto Martinez dropped a huge clanger with Everton’s capture of Muhamed Besic, as Reading now line up a potential transfer for the summer free agent.
According to The Telegraph, Reading are weighing up a move for Besic to head to the Madejski Stadium once his Toffees terms expire in June.
It is felt that his impending exit from Goodison Park will help ease negotiations after the Royals failed to conclude a deal during the winter market.
Besic was frozen out of the senior picture at Goodison Park after boss Carlo Ancelotti chose to omit the 28-year-old from his 25-man Premier League squad, and has remained on the fringes despite being added following the mid-season window.
The 45-cap international has not featured for the Blues since 2017, after which he sealed two loan spells with Middlesbrough in the Championship and joined Sheffield United for the 2019/20 Premier League campaign.
Chris Wilder had appeared keen to retain Besic for a further 12-months following his temporary spell at Bramall Lane, but hinted that a deal was not possible due to his agent chasing a more lucrative contract than the Blades could afford.
Besic’s future has long appeared to be away from Everton with Ancelotti even opting against offering the midfielder a seat on the bench this term, so will no doubt be hopeful of securing a move to Reading where he is more likely to have the backing of the head coach.
The Berlin-born Bosnian would also bring a heap of Premier League and Championship experience to the Madejski Stadium, where top-flight football for next season cannot yet be ruled out with the Royals only five points outside of the Play-Off places.
But Besic is unlikely to be missed at Goodison Park, having faded massively from the player Martinez considered to be “a phenomenal asset” of his Toffees side having only ever proven to be a regular under the Spaniard.
Injuries ravished his 2015/16 season and kept the £2m-rated midfielder sidelined for almost the entirety of the ‘16/17 term, before being given fleeting appearances under Ronald Koeman and later accepting his first spell away from Merseyside with Middlesbrough.
Everton were at least able to get Boro and Sheffield United to cover his wages, saving the Toffees from having to pay £30,000-per-week to a player they awarded a pay rise to in February 2016 only to rarely see on the field after that.
But the weeks that Besic will have spent in the wilderness this season, the years on Merseyside before joining Middlesbrough and time spent before moving to Sheffield United will have seen Everton pay out a total of £7.6m in wages on a player they spent £4m to sign in 2014.
Little of that £11.6m will have not been wasted when Besic departs Everton at the end of his contract on June 30, which can surely not come soon enough for both the player and the club.