Jack Harrison has reportedly agreed to join Everton on a season-long loan from Leeds United after Aston Villa made an 11th hour bid to scupper the move.
It always seemed as though the 26-year-old would leave Elland Road after the Whites suffered relegation to the Championship. The Stoke-on-Trent-born ace has been a stalwart for Leeds over five seasons. He helped the West Yorkshire outfit achieve promotion to the Premier League.
And the former England Under-21 player was seen 107 times while Leeds operated in the top flight.
The wide man bagged 21 goals in England’s top division over three seasons.
However, he could do nothing to prevent the club slipping into the second tier in May this year.
Despite penning a new deal with Leeds until 2028 back in April, Harrison has been linked with a few clubs since the end of last season.
Villa have been mentioned in connection with the former New York City FC ace.
But it was Everton who appeared to be heading the queue for his signature when links emerged in late June.
And it was suggested early on Sunday that he had completed a medical at the Toffees’ Finch Farm training ground.
That was after the Merseysiders triggered a clause in his Leeds contract which would see him move to the north-west outfit on loan.
However, things began to take a new direction on Sunday afternoon.
Trusted transfer guru Fabrizio Romano took to social media to reveal the latest occurrence.
And the Italian reported that Harrison had decided to snub Everton and join Villa instead.
Rumours began to do the rounds that the attacker had set off to the West Midlands to undergo his second medical of the day.
But that has turned out to be a false dawn for the Villans
Harrison to join Dyche at Everton despite Villa’s efforts
Everton are desperately in need of attacking stars after coming close to relegation last season.
They ended up just one place and two points above the relegation zone having scored a paltry 34 league goals all season.
Dyche’s charges opened their 2023-24 account with a 1-0 home defeat to Fulham.
And it was a similar story, with plenty of chances created but an inability to put the ball in the net.
There is still time for the former Burnley manager to do something about it.
And, according to David Ornstein of The Athletic, Dyche looks to have got his man after Villa ended their pursuit.
He said on X: “Everton reach agreement with Jack Harrison to sign 26yo on loan, with desire to make permanent at bed.
“Medical completed – now moving on to sign contracts. Aston Villa considered midfielder but Everton close to completing deal.”
Harrison injury prompted Villa U-turn
Harrison is currently injured and has not kicked a ball for Leeds this term.
And, according to Romano, that is the reason that Unai Emery decided against battling Everton for his signature.
“Aston Villa, not intentioned to proceed on Jack Harrison deal as they believe he’s injured for some weeks and can’t replace Buendía (ACL injury),” he said on X.
“Everton are now prepared to close the deal after having player at the club earlier today for medical tests.”
Harrison’s arrival will give the Toffees a boost, with his pace a huge asset to any team.
But it seems as though they will not be able to call on him until late September or early October.