Anthony Gordon’s absence from Everton continued into a third day but his hopes of trying to manufacture a move away from the Premier League club are complicated with no manager still in place.
Former Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa is understood to be owner Farhad Moshiri’s preferred option to replace Frank Lampard and the Argentinian flew into London on Thursday ahead of expected face-to-face talks.
There had been suggestions Moshiri had set a Friday deadline to appoint what would be the eighth permanent manager of his seven-year reign and Bielsa’s arrival in the country raised hopes a deal could still be done despite the 67-year-old’s apparent misgivings about the squad he would inherit.
The relegation-threatened club were also believed to be considering ex-Burnley boss Sean Dyche, while Davide Ancelotti has reportedly also been mentioned as an alternative, having spent 18 months as assistant to his father Carlo when he was in charge at Goodison.
But while the top job continues to remain unfilled, the 21-year-old Gordon’s chances of securing a move away from his boyhood club – with Newcastle heavily linked – were complicated further.
Both Newcastle and Chelsea made offers for Gordon in the summer but Everton were adamant the academy graduate was not for sale, although that resolve may now be weakening.
Only a month ago Gordon, whose current contract expires in 2025, was set to sign a new deal but things appeared to have soured since then with the player confronted by fans outside Goodison Park following the damaging loss to bottom side Southampton earlier this month.
On Thursday evening, Lampard released a statement via the League Managers’ Association expressing his disappointment at not being able to turn around the club’s fortunes after staying up.
“Coming in to Everton last year I knew we were in a tough moment and I will always be proud of the incredible work and support from everyone involved to keep the team in the Premier League last season,” Lampard said.
“Thanks to everybody that played their part as the whole club came together. I will never forget the incredible night against Palace that we shared.
“I want to thank all Evertonians for the welcome that you gave to myself, my staff, and my family. It truly is a special club with a huge heart and an incredible history.
“I’m disappointed that we couldn’t achieve more together and wish all the players and everyone at Everton FC the very best for the future.”