Everton will have to pay £60million if they wish to keep both Kurt Zouma and Andre Gomes at the club next season, per The Times.
The two loanees, from Chelsea and Barcelona respectively, are highly rated at Goodison Park and the club has already told Chelsea that they wish to buy Zouma.
Zouma and Gomes have both featured prominently at Goodison Park this season.
The three-time France international’s future is, per the report, complicated by Chelsea’s transfer ban but there is a chance that an appeal against FIFA’s judgement could be successful, leading to the possibility of the Blues being allowed to buy players this summer.
That would surely leave them more open to the sale of Zouma but, even so, the Times report that he would cost around £30m.
The same goes for Gomes, who had been struggling to find his way into Barcelona’s team in La Liga.
For the Toffees to keep both players, then, and before considering any further additions to the squad, they face a payout of £60m.
The report also claims that the futures of defenders Phil Jagielka and Leighton Baines remain up in the air, with their contracts set to expire in the summer.
These deals could set Everton back significantly, and not just in monetary terms. There is a major rebuild needed at Goodison Park after a season of stagnation under Marco Silva.
A new striker, a couple of new midfielders and a defensive overhaul is required, but paying £60m to keep two players who have hardly set the world alight seems a poor start. It’s more than they forked out for £45m club-record signing Gylfi Sigurdsson two years ago.
Zouma and Gomes are clearly talented but the risk here is Everton spending most of their summer budget on two players who have already proven that they are not superstars and subsequently ignoring the bigger issues at play.
For starters, Everton still haven’t found a convincing replacement for Romelu Lukaku, an issue which has plagued Ronald Koeman, Sam Allardyce and now Silva. The wing berths remain conundrums too, while Jagielka and Baines’ potential departures will leave a huge leadership void throughout the first team squad.
Those problems need addressing this summer, so the question has to be asked: How much money would be left to fix them if both players joined permanently?
Everton should be very wary of paying £60m just to maintain the status quo.