Everton manager Ronald Koeman has confirmed that the Toffees are "still close" to signing Swansea City talisman Gylfi Sigurdsson and rubbished suggestions that a deal was in danger of falling through.
Sigurdsson, 27, is expected to swap south Wales for Merseyside this summer and has informed Paul Clement's men of his desire to join Everton, but the two clubs have so far yet to reach an agreement over the £50m-rated Icelandic international.
The former Tottenham star has barely featured in Swansea's pre-season schedule due to the ongoing speculation over his future, and Clement confirmed that he will be not included in his squad for their Premier League opener against Southampton on Saturday (12 August).
Reports earlier this week claimed that Swansea were set to walk away from the deal, but Koeman moved to clarify speculation surrounding Everton's move for Sigurdsson and hopes a deal will soon be struck.
"It's still close, that's not changed," Koeman said in his press conference. "I heard rumours that talks broke down but we are still in negotiations with Swansea. I heard the comments of Paul Clement, everybody wants news on [the deal], it's better for us and them but the window is difficult. We are close and let's hope to get an agreement as soon as possible.
Asked if a deal could be reached before the weekend, Koeman said: "Yeah but okay, soon is okay. I spoke about [it being] really soon last weekend. Let's wait, we're not in hurry but we finally hope to do a deal."
Sigurdsson is one of Koeman's top summer targets but he is not the only player that the Dutchman is targeting, with a central defender and striker high on his agenda. Everton have not replaced Belgium international Romelu Lukaku, who signed for Manchester United in a deal worth £90m last month, and Koeman admits the Toffees are finding it difficult to recruit an adequate successor to the 24-year-old.
Asked if Everton have the firepower needed to achieve their aims this season, Koeman said: "Not yet because as everybody knows we're still working on some targets and that's difficult.
"To replace Lukaku is really difficult, I don't say impossible but 25 goals is a lot. We need to find productivity from other players, we brought players like [Davy] Klaassen and Sandro Ramirez, but we need others."