Did he know? Lampard asked for patience in last Everton press conference
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Everton have seen their pursuit of Villarreal winger Arnaut Danjuma hijacked by Tottenham as the Netherlands winger had completed a medical and underwent the required media duties of a new signing, but instead left Merseyside without completing the necessary paperwork and travelled to London to sign for Antonio Conte’s side. One factor behind his U-turn was reportedly not knowing who his next boss would be, which has also plagued another potential deal.
Foot Mercato have claimed that Everton were interested in signing Lyon striker Moussa Dembele, who was interested in the project at Goodison Park under former boss Frank Lampard. The Toffees were prepared to make a move for the Frenchman this month and had undergone negotiations with the Ligue 1 side.
Dembele, meanwhile, spoke with Lampard and the Chelsea legend had made the 26-year-old his number-one priority. Everton had less productive talks with Lyon though and became frustrated with the amount of money they were demanding for a player that only has a contract at the French club until the end of the season.
According to the report, Dembele had always considered a move to Everton and a free transfer in the summer could not have been ruled out if the obstacle was Lyon’s asking price, but Lampard’s sacking has since changed the situation. The call from the Everton board to dismiss Lampard has been described as a ‘game-changer’ in Dembele’s eyes, while he is also not keen on joining them amid the serious threat of relegation.
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Dembele has become the second player to turn down interest from Everton, as Danjuma is set to join Spurs on loan instead. The winger was in Merseyside having turned down interest from the likes of Nottingham Forest, Crystal Palace and Ajax as the club had agreed a loan with a mandatory buy option at the end of the season.
Danjuma had completed his medical and conducted media duties though the required paperwork for a transfer had not yet been completed, which meant he was able to change his mind about a transfer after Lampard had been relieved of his position.
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The boss had played a large role in convincing the star to move to Everton, sacking him would have had an effect on incoming players, including Danjuma, as they would not have known who they would have been working under.
Everton sacked Lampard on Monday after a run of eight defeats in 10 matches. “Everyone at Everton would like to thank Frank and his coaching staff for their service during what has been a challenging 12 months,” a club statement read.
“Frank and his team’s commitment and dedication have been exemplary throughout their time at the club, but recent results and the current league position meant this difficult decision had to be taken. We wish Frank and all his backroom team well for their future in the game. The club has started the process to secure a new manager and will provide updates on the appointment in due course.”
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