Everton were close to bringing Manchester United defender Marcos Rojo to Goodison Park on a season-long loan on summer transfer deadline day, as manager Marco Silva sought to boost his backline after failing to land Chelsea’s Kurt Zouma permanently.
The representatives of the Argentina international had agreed a deal with the Toffees that would have seen him join the club on loan with an obligation to buy him at the end of the season.
However, The Times claims Joel and Avram Glazer, the Red Devils’ executive co-chairmen, vetoed the transfer because they saw Everton as a rival club who will be competing with them for a place in the top-four this season.
While Silva will be disappointed not to have brought a defensive cover in, he should be delighted with the fact that Man Utd already recognize the threat his side pose to them.
Everton want to push for a top-six finish this term, and are a huge threat to the ambitions of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side.
Manchester City and Liverpool are widely seen as the top two contenders for the title, with the likes of Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United seen as the traditional sides to fight for the remaining four spots in the race for the top-six.
Wolverhampton Wanderers, West Ham United, Leicester City, Watford and Everton are expected to aim to finish as the best of the rest, aka seventh place, but they all seem keen to break into the top spots, and the Toffees have already strengthened their squad over the summer to that effect.
Seven new additions were made, with £27 million spent on Alex Iwobi, £29 million on Moise Kean, £9 million on Fabian Delph, £22 million to sign Andre Gomes permanently, while Jean-Philippe Gbamin cost £25 million.
It was an impressive summer transfer market for them, and it seems rivals now indeed see them as a huge threat this season.
They have picked up four points in the opening two games already and are yet to concede a goal, and they could be the dark horses of the campaign.