Gylfi Sigurdsson's prospective move to Everton hangs in the balance after manager Ronald Koeman issued a desperate plea to the club's board to match Swansea City's demands. The Toffees have had two bids rejected for the Iceland international, and are yet to decide whether to make a third offer.
Wales Online understand the Swans are steadfastly unwilling to deviate from their £50m valuation of the 27-year-old and are content to keep hold of Sigurdsson with three years remaining on his contract, meaning the deal is unlikely to go through. Bids of £40m and £45m have been turned down and it remains to be seen whether the two sides can reach an agreement.
Koeman is keen to bolster his midfield amid the impending departure of Ross Barkley and has sent the strongest message yet to the Everton hierarchy regarding further negotiations. The Dutch coach says the club's board, which includes chairman Bill Kenwright and Alexander Ryazantsev – majority owner Farhad Moshiri's representative – hold the key to the deal being completed.
"That is up to the board," Koeman told ITV of the deal to sign Sigurdsson, after Everton's 1-0 Europa League third qualifying round first leg win over Ruzomberok at Goodison Park. "Everyone knows our interest in the player but I do not decide the financial terms. It is up to the board to get an agreement with Swansea."
Though Dominic Calvert-Lewin, the returning Wayne Rooney and new signing Sandro Ramirez all featured in attack for Everton in their first competitive game of the season, it took a deflected strike from full-back Leighton Baines to ensure Koeman's side take a lead to Slovakia for next week's second leg.
The lack of goals reinforced Koeman's desire to add another striker to his squad, in the wake of Romelu Lukaku's move to Manchester United, with links with Arsenal's Olivier Giroud continuing to persist.
"We know that we would like to sign another striker," he added. "Normally we would have two nines in the squad. We are looking for the best option and I am really confident that we can bring in a really good one who makes the team even stronger."