Last summer Everton made serious attempts to sign Rachid Ghezzal from Lyon. The French club were happy to listen, because Ghezzal only had a year left on his contract and was stalling on a renewal.
Lyon were minded to accept Everton’s offer of around €11m and it was left to Ghezzal to think things over. Coming off the back of a good Lyon season, Ghezzal knocked Everton back, despite a big salary offer.
The Merseyside club were prepared to pay €400k a month, around £350k, to Ghezzal and that was even without him being a free transfer. It was knocked back, with the player making noises about not wanting to step back, and saying he’d give Lyon every chance to convince him on a renewal.
It’s little surprise that a renewal hasn’t come, and with Ghezzal’s form this season not being quite as good as it was last term, there’s not a queue of the biggest clubs knocking down his door.
There is said to be interest from several countries, but everything seems at the initial stage right now, despite Ghezzal being in the position to sign a pre-contract agreement.
Speaking to Gazzetta dello Sport, Ghezzal has made it clear he’s keeping his options open. When asked if he’s already picked a new club, the Lyon player said: “No, but the proposals are being studied. I want an ambitious project, in France or abroad. Maybe I have more affinity with Spanish football, but I do not rule out the Premier League or Serie A, where my brother Kader played, who now takes care of all these things.”
Everton’s wages offer looked good at the time, and it’s probably an amount which is increasingly tempting. Should Ronald Koeman remain interested then this time around there’d be no transfer fee, although it would be no surprise if Ghezzal expected some of that as a signing on bonus.