Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham Hotspur

Premier League • England

Tottenham raid for Premier League star in tatters as rival boss confirms new deal ‘very close’

Kieran Trippier, James Maddison, Mason Mount and Jordan Pickford

Tottenham face a huge battle to sign an Everton player in 2023 as Frank Lampard says his new contract is ‘very close’ to reaching completion.

Everton are currently in contract discussions with three of their most important stars. Midfielder Alex Iwobi is due to receive a big pay rise following his top performances towards the start of the campaign. And he is set to be joined by two team-mates in receiving fresh terms.

Everton are in talks with goalkeeper Jordan Pickford and winger Anthony Gordon about new contracts. While Iwobi’s deal is mainly about rewarding him, in the cases of Pickford and Gordon it is more about preventing them from leaving Goodison Park.

Gordon was the subject of interest from Chelsea during the summer transfer window. And they even made a £45m bid for the wide man.

However, Chelsea never matched Everton’s asking price, which sits at £60m. As such, Gordon remains at the Merseyside club.

Pickford, meanwhile, is reportedly on Tottenham’s wish list. They view him as the ‘number one’ successor to Hugo Lloris in goal and will launch a big-money move at the end of the current campaign.

Spurs will struggle to land him if a new contract is in place though, and that is exactly what Lampard is planning at Everton.

Ahead of the Toffees’ match against Wolves on Boxing Day, Lampard was asked about how the contract discussions are coming along. He told a press conference (via talkSPORT): “Close. That’s the update for you. All good.

Everton ‘very close’ to contract signings, reveals Lampard

“We’ve hopefully got a situation where the players want to stay and they want to stay here. So we’re very close.”

Lampard was then asked about Pickford in particular, and whether Everton can match his ambitions amid Spurs’ interest. “Yeah I feel we can because I don’t think it’s straight forward to look at an individual and see what that their ambitions are,” the manager responded.

“You know, Jordan is England’s no. 1 and has secured that position. [It] has been an amazing achievement by him because we know how difficult that is.

“Playing at Everton he’s been a huge reason why we had a great run to the end of last season, when we stayed in the league everyone knows Jordan was a massive part of that.

“Jordan feels very happy being at this club, I won’t speak for him but that’s the impression I get from him.

Jordan Pickford ‘very happy’ at Goodison Park

“So I don’t think it’s as a simple as [does the club match his ambitions] because he’s very happy here. We’re a huge club with a huge history and big ambition, and he’s a bit part of that.

“Having been a player myself, maybe I was fortunate enough to play Champions League myself, but when I felt comfortable at a club I came in everyday with a smile on my face.

“I looked forward to every game that came up whether it be Carabao Cup, Champions League, whatever. If Jordan feels like that and we can match each others ambitions in terms of staying longer, I don’t see that as a problem.”

It sounds like Everton are more than happy with Pickford and the shot-stopper is happy to stay with them. If this is definitely the case then he will probably pen that long-term contract with Everton.

Spurs could still try their luck and submit an offer for him next summer. But if Everton are protected by a long-term deal, then they will be able to demand a huge fee.

Spurs may have to begin looking at alternative successors to Lloris. One option is Leeds star Illan Meslier.

Meanwhile, Spurs have found out whether Barcelona are willing to sell one of their players after Conte set his sights on him.