Everton have given Fulham 48 hours to conclude Andrew Johnson’s move to Craven Cottage having become exasperated by the Londoners’ attempts to restructure the terms of the £13m transfer according to Andy Hunter at The Guardian.
Johnson had a medical in the capital last Monday before a proposed deal that would net Everton an initial £10.5m for the 27-year-old, rising to £13m on appearances, a club record transfer for Fulham. Since then Fulham have sought to reduce the first payment significantly as a result of a knee injury the striker suffered during his time at Crystal Palace but which has not hindered his career at Goodison Park.
Fulham have previously shelved deals for John Carew and Marlon King over similar concerns and, though Everton will renegotiate the terms for Johnson, they will not accept a major reduction for an England international who has also interested Wigan and Sunderland.
Money from any sale is to be added to David Moyes’ budget but, with the Everton manager yet to make a signing and wanting to replace the striker should he leave, the chairman, Bill Kenwright, is prepared to call off the deal if an agreement cannot be reached by tomorrow.
Such a move would leave Johnson in an awkward position, having fallen out with Moyes when Fulham’s offer was accepted, and would impact on the Everton manager’s spending, though Wigan, Sunderland and possibly West Ham could revive interest. The prospect of Johnson staying at Goodison has not been ruled out.
Fulham’s manager, Roy Hodgson, however, says a deal can still be done. Speaking after their friendly at Birmingham on Saturday, he said: “The transfer negotiations are still going on as far as I know.” Asked if Johnson would become the club’s record signing, he added: “I think so. I’ve no reason to believe he won’t. Andy Johnson is a player with great quality. Wherever he’s been he’s done very, very well. He’ll give us balance up front that we’re looking for.”
The uncertainty is an added problem for Moyes and Kenwright as they attempt to secure Everton’s first signing of the summer. The chairman has been involved in talks with Sporting Lisbon, Rennes and Real Zaragoza in recent days over possible deals for their respective players Joao Moutinho, Stéphane M’Bia and Diego Milito, although no bids have been lodged.