Journalist Paul Brown has said it is a ‘worry’ for Everton fans that Jordan Pickford has not yet signed a new contract and suggests there may be a ‘problem’ behind the scenes.
The 28-year-old was thought to have agreed on a new five-year deal with the Toffees prior to the World Cup, but the contract is still yet to be signed.
As a result, Premier League rivals may now attempt to sign Pickford, who as it stands has just 16 months remaining on his current deal at Goodison Park.
Indeed, Tottenham Hotspur are the most recent club to register an interest in the England international, while Manchester United and Chelsea have also been previously linked.
Speaking to GiveMeSport, Brown said: “The Pickford situation is a bit strange because there was a lot of noise around him pre-World Cup that his contract was basically done, all agreed, it just needed signing off and, for whatever reason, that hasn’t happened.
“Sometimes clubs get players signed and they just don’t announce it for a few months for whatever reason, but I do think, in this case, there is some kind of problem that we haven’t been fully informed of yet, which is a bit of a worry.”
Indeed, Pickford has arguably been Everton’s most important player for the past two campaigns, with his performances at the end of last season almost single-handedly keeping the Toffees in the Premier League.
In particular, he made outstanding saves in victories against Chelsea and Manchester United, one of which won the Premier League’s Save of the Season Award.
However, Everton are once again in massive danger of going down this season, after winning just four of their opening 21 league matches – the worst start in their entire history.
New manager Sean Dyche got off to a fantastic start though with a 1-0 win against league-leaders Arsenal, so that has given Evertonians some hope.
Ultimately, it seems likely that Pickford’s future will depend on whether or not Everton get relegated and he will have to play a big part in that.
As mentioned, he kept a valuable clean sheet against Arsenal, but he has been excellent again for the Toffees this season, making the third-most saves (75) of all goalkeepers in the division so far.
Another issue that could be affecting Pickford’s new deal is Everton’s ongoing financial problems after they have come close to being sanctioned in recent months due to alleged FFP breaches, while they attempt to find the funds to build their new stadium.
In January, the club sold star winger and boyhood Evertonian Anthony Gordon to Newcastle for £40m, but they were still unable to bring in any new signings, despite promises from majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri that they would get a striker.
With that in mind, if Everton did go down to the Championship, they would truly be in financial turmoil, so there is a good chance that the combination of those factors is what is preventing the club from signing off on Pickford’s new deal.
READ MORE: Klopp and Jones made to look stupid by their own words as Dyche takes his rightful winners throne