Everton are currently not looking to sign a free agent ahead of the impending exit of Demarai Gray, according to reports. The winger is set to leave for the Saudi Pro League but a replacement won’t be sought.
Gray has been embroiled in a row with Everton boss Sean Dyche in recent days. The former Leicester star is yet to make a match-day squad so far this season.
He was linked with a move to Saudi Arabia during the English summer transfer window. A deal didn’t materialise and Everton sold Alex Iwobi to Fulham late on deadline day.
Many thought that could see Gray reintegrated into the squad for the first half of the season at least. However, a deal to Al-Ettifaq is now back on.
A report from i News claims Everton are set to receive a fee of around £8million for the 27-year-old. Al-Ettifaq, who are managed by Steven Gerrard, have until Thursday to complete a deal.
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But i also claim that Everton will not be looking to the free agent market to bolster their attacking resources. The Toffees are yet to win a game this season, picking up just one point in four matches, but will wait until January before looking at reinforcements.
Gray’s departure has come about following a public row with Dyche. He released a statement seemingly criticising the Everton manager at the weekend.
Gray wrote on social media: “Everton fans have always been great with me but it’s so difficult to play for someone who don’t show you respect as a person.”
Dyche held an interview with Everton’s in-house media channel on Tuesday to respond to Gray’s comment. He clarified the situation without confirming if Gray would now leave.
Dyche said: “It’s an unfortunate one because I try to keep our business in-house. I think on this occasion, it’s right to reply.
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“Demarai made it clear that he felt he was getting a move [away from Everton] and he told us a move was done, which was interesting to hear from a player. We reminded him of the truth of the fact that no moves are done without this club’s say so. That’s the truth of it.
“We look after these players; we look at all the different ways of looking after them. Mental and wellbeing is big, the tactics and technical, the physical. We look at all of that for all these players and we look after them.
“When it comes to a time like that then you go, ‘Well, hang on a minute. You made it clear you didn’t want to train, you didn’t want to be here, and you also said there was a move that was a done deal’.
“We said it’s not a done deal because this club is the most important. This club will make decisions on the future of you as players and not the other way around. I think it’s right to let our fans know that’s the truth.”
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