Everton are determined to complete a Premier League transfer for a mind boggling fee, and the decision making of the selling club is looking more and more suspect with each passing week.
Frank Lampard is quietly performing a stellar job at Goodison Park. The Toffees came close to being relegated last term and another nervy campaign was expected.
Indeed, Everton lost star man Richarlison over the summer and the budget for new recruits was severely restricted.
Their net spend when all was said and done was just £25.5m, though two of their smartest signings didn’t cost a penny.
James Tarkowski signed as a free agent after his Burnley contract expired. Conor Coady, meanwhile, joined on a one-year loan from Wolves.
Coady’s exit from Molineux came as a surprise given he was an England international and the club’s captain.
However, Bruno Lage wanted to ditch the back five and switch to a back four. The Portuguese boss did not believe Coady suited a two-man pairing.
Lage has since been sacked after Wolves won just one of their opening eight matches. Including the back end of last season, Wolves had won just one of 15.
Coady part of league’s meanest defence
In contrast, Coady has helped transform Everton’s backline who remarkably, have conceded the fewest goals in the league this season.
Their meagre tally of just seven goals shipped betters both Arsenal (eight) and Man City (nine). That newfound defensive resilience has been the backbone of their solid if not spectacular start.
Now, a report from the Telegraph states Everton are hell bent on signing Coady outright. What’s more, they’ll be able to do it for a cut-price fee.
They state Everton convinced Wolves to agree to a remarkably low £4.5m option in the deal. Understandably, Everton have every intention of triggering it before the season is out.
Part of Wolves’ thinking behind such a small fee was they did not want to stand in the way of such a fantastic club servant.
In the Telegraph’s words, they agreed to the low price ‘out of respect for Coady’s achievements’. However, that now looks a fatal error.
Even more good news for Everton
Wolves do have a formidable partnership in Nathan Collins and Max Kilman. However, after also selling Willy Boly and Romain Saiss, there is a significant drop off in quality behind the starters.
Coady, meanwhile, has proved he can play in a two when required to do so by Lampard.
Any Everton fears the next Wolves boss might recall Coady are also dispelled in the piece.
It’s noted Wolves did not insert a recall clause, much to Everton’s delight.
A handful of minor add-ons could push the final fee for Coady above £4.5m. However, a fee in that range in today’s market for a proven Premier League centre-half is mind bogglingly good value.