Moyes free to spend after selling Johnson
Friday 08 August 2008
The protracted transfer of Andy Johnson to Fulham was finally completed yesterday giving the Everton manager, David Moyes, a pocket full of cash to reinvest in strengthening his squad.
The news will cushion the blow of the club's proposed new stadium being delayed by Government intervention. The deal with Fulham sees Everton receive around £10m up front, with the fee likely to rise to £13m after appearances.
That transfer was concluded just hours after the club had been shocked by the Government decision to call in the plans for Everton's new stadium development in Kirkby for further examination.
Everton and Tesco – partners in the £400m scheme – now face a potential two-year wait for final approval after a full public inquiry. It had been thought that the plans would only be held up for a year, but Government sources suggest that is an optimistic view.
Everton's board members met on Wednesday to discuss the initial fallout from the decision and a full board meeting will be held before the end of the week. Steel costs will rise during the delay, by as much as £20m, while legal costs could be up to £1.5m.
The club, therefore, face a major decision over whether to wait for the inquiry verdict and risk losing, to start looking for a new site or to spend on improving Goodison Park.
In the meantime, Moyes, who admits to having "five or six" transfer targets, will launch another bid for Portuguese midfielder Joao Moutinho with the Johnson fee and also try to complete a move for Newcastle United's Alan Smith.
Talks are ongoing with Sporting Lisbon and a new offer of around £13m, a club record, is on the table. Smith, who was left out of Newcastle's friendly on Wednesday with PSV Eindhoven with an ankle injury, would cost around £2m.
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