Farhad Moshiri has opened up regarding Everton's lucrative sale of John Stones to Manchester City and failed summer pursuits of Kalidou Koulibaly, Lucas Perez and Moussa Sissoko. The billionaire Iranian businessman is the current majority shareholder at Goodison Park, having ended Bill Kenwright's long search for fresh investment by purchasing a 49.9% stake in the Premier League club back in February.
Moshiri's first transfer window was certainly hectic, with new manager Ronald Koeman's squad strengthened by the arrivals of exciting winger Yannick Bolasie, influential centre-back Ashley Williams, tireless midfielder Idrissa Gana Gueye, goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg and West Ham United loanee Enner Valencia. Stones was unquestionably the headline departure, meanwhile, with Manchester City willing to spend £47.5m ($58.9m) on the highly-rated centre-back despite his alarming regression under Roberto Martinez.
Moshiri has now publicly confirmed that Everton tried to sign Koulibaly as a replacement for the 22-year-old, although were prevented from doing so thanks to Napoli's extravagant price tag.
Chelsea were also heavily linked with the Senegalese international, who has since signed a new-five year contract at the Stadio San Paolo, as part of Antonio Conte's frustrating and prolonged search for defensive reinforcements and Aurelio De Laurentiis revealed in September that the Blues had been unsuccessful with an offer of €50m.
"The boy wanted to go," Moshiri told talkSPORT of Stones' departure. "Martinez had promised him that he would go the following year. I still didn't let him go until the manager said he could go. At the end of the day, I do what the manager wants. What is £47.5m? We tried to buy Koulibaly from Napoli and they wanted £60m. Every defender in Europe now is £50m. It is just monopoly money, it doesn't mean anything. We competed with Chelsea, we went right to the asking price, but the club didn't sell – neither to us or to Chelsea."
Koulibaly was not the only high-profile transfer target to escape newly cash-rich Everton's clutches during the summer. The Toffees also suffered disappointment in their deadline day quest to sign Moussa Sissoko from Newcastle United despite having a bid accepted and reportedly agreeing medical terms after Tottenham Hotspur muscled in on the deal at the 11th hour. Deportivo La Coruna forward Lucas Perez also snubbed Merseyside in favour of a move to Arsenal.
"The manager had seven names, and four of those we got," Moshiri added. "He wanted a box-to-box midfielder and we matched Sissoko's asking price and actually paid more, and all the terms were agreed, and just before midnight we realised he had changed his mind. Lucas Perez was all ready to sign and Arsenal took him from us at the last minute."