Everton have issued a strongly-worded statement denying weekend reports suggesting that they had engineered the recent exit of midfielder Dan Gosling to Newcastle United.
Gosling left Goodison Park on a free transfer after turning down a verbal offer of a new contract, with a Premier League ruling confirming that the 20-year-old was a free agent as a written offer had not been made.
Subsequently, Gosling's agent, David Hodgson, suggested that the Toffees had stalled on the contract due to injury concerns.
However, an official club statement read:"In the wake of a report in a Sunday newspaper in which the agent of Dan Gosling made a series of allegations, Everton Football Club has decided to take the unprecedented step of setting straight a record of recent events which has, in its opinion, been deliberately distorted.
"In the article, Mr David Hodgson suggested that not only did this club not wish to extend Mr Gosling's stay at Goodison Park, but that it had been deliberately tardy with regard to the formal offer of a new contract – presuming that an injury sustained by the player during the course of last season was of such a serious nature it would prevent him from signing for another club.
"Both claims are ludicrous, totally without substance and grossly misleading.
"The manager of Everton, David Moyes, and the chairman, Bill Kenwright, contacted Mr Hodgson in November of last year to jointly offer Dan Gosling a new contract.
"Several subsequent conversations took place during the course of which Mr Hodgson not only indicated that the deal offered would be 'fine', but also reaffirmed that a 'hand-shake agreement' was in place dating back to when Mr Gosling joined the club as a 17-year-old in January 2008."