Juventus defender and Everton target Merih Demiral has agreed to join Atalanta on loan, freeing Tottenham Hotspur to sign Cristian Romero, according to TuttoMercatoWEB.
Atalanta will pay Juventus a nominal fee for the temporary deal that will see Demiral move to the Gewiss Stadium. The deal also features an option to buy the defender next summer for just under €30m (£25.5m).
La Dea triggering the clause will then see Demiral join on a four-year contract worth around €2m-a-year (£33k-p/w). He is due in Lombardy before the end of the week for his medical, ending Everton’s hope of a transfer.
Everton have been monitoring Demiral’s desires to leave Juventus for a number of months. Calciomercato claimed in June that the 23-year-old was aware of Toffees’ interest. But the Bianconeri wanted €40m (£34m) at the time to sell their Turkey international.
Additionally, Calciomercato reported last month Demiral was among Atalanta’s top targets to replace Tottenham-bound Romero. But Borussia Dortmund complicated their bid, as the Bundesliga side refused to give up on him, despite refusing to pay over €25m (£21.5m).
Tottenham also wanted Demiral earlier in the summer, per Tuttosport, but turned their attention to Romero. Now, Spurs are free to sign the Copa America winner after agreeing on terms Atalanta this week, per Sky Sports.
The north Londoners will pay €50m (£42.5m) plus €5m (£4.5m) in add-ons for the 23-year-old. Spurs expect the centre-half in England before the end of the week to sign a five-year contract. But the deal was not possible until Atalanta secured Demiral.
Demiral sought a move away from the Allianz Stadium to be an established starter. Andrea Pirlo fielded him in 15 Serie A fixtures last term, but only started the 24-cap ace 10 times.
Everton hopes of Demiral deal over as Juventus defender agrees Atalanta move
Everton’s hope of signing Demiral this summer are over after the Juventus defender agreed to join Atalanta on loan. Director of Football Marcel Brands will now have to facilitate an alternative for Rafa Benitez to strengthen the Spaniard’s backline.
Only two sides that finished above Everton in the Premier League last season conceded more often than Carlo Ancelotti’s Toffees. Leeds United shipped 54 goals in their first year back in the top-flight, while Leicester City allowed 50.
Everton, meanwhile, conceded 48 – more than 16th-placed finishers Brighton (46) and only five less than relegated Fulham (53). Arsenal, who finished in eighth, also shipped just 39 for the third-best record behind Manchester City (32) and Chelsea (36).