Everton have leapt to the front of the queue in the race to sign Barcelona keeper Jasper Cillessen, which could have a major impact on the future of Jordan Pickford, according to reports in Spain.
Cillessen is unsettled at Barcelona having spent the past three seasons as back-up to Marc-Andre Ter Stegen. The former Ajax shot-stopper is now heavily linked with a move away from the Camp Nou, but a switch to Benfica appears to have fallen through.
According to Sport, Cillessen’s most likely destination is the Premier League, where three sides are interested in him. Manchester United and West Ham are weighing up bids, but the strong relationship between Everton and Barcelona – with Andre Gomes, Lucas Digne and Yerry Mina all being exchanged between the clubs last summer – means the Dutchman is more likely to end up on Merseyside.
After accepting his concerns about being priced out of a move by a £54m valuation, Barcelona now want €20m for the 30-year-old, who has made just five La Liga appearances in his three-year stay at the club. And that move could pave the way for Jordan Pickford to sign with Manchester United.
David De Gea is expected to leave Old Trafford this summer, one year before the expiration of his contract, meaning that United need to look for a replacement. England’s number one Pickford has been suggested as a target for a while now, with reports in the past claiming that the Red Devils were willing to pay £70m for the former Sunderland man.
Pickford endured a mixed season for Everton, but his stock has risen again after an impressive pair of displays on international duty at the UEFA Nations League, where he was named in the team of the tournament.
That form may well have reignited United’s interest as they search for a long-term solution in goal.
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