Football

Europe's biggest spenders Everton move for Keane

Everton, once known as the Bank of England club, are returning to their high-spending ways by becoming Europe's heaviest spenders in the transfer window.

The Toffees are expected to pay £24million (S$42.9m) for Burnley centre half Michael Keane to take their overall investment to £80m this transfer window as they attempt to break into the EPL's top four.

Other arrivals include Ajax midfielder Davy Klaassen (£23m), Sunderland goalkeeper Jordan Pickford (£25m) and Henry Onyekuru (£6.8m), the Eupen striker who was immediately loaned out to another Belgian side Anderlecht.

Everton are also in negotiations to sign Malaga's Spain Under-21 striker Sandro Ramirez for a fee of £5.2m and have been linked with a possible move for former player Wayne Rooney.

Their spending has outstripped city rivals Liverpool, who have so far paid £37m for Mohamed Salah, and every other club across the continent, although the picture may change as bigger clubs tie down summer deals.

Everton were given the moneybags sobriquet, originally coined for Sunderland in the 1950s, when they were backed by funds from the Littlewoods Catalogue Empire in the 1960s, investment that led to them winning the title in 1970.

The cash outlay reflects both their improved finances since the arrival of co-owner Farhad Moshiri, the Iranian billionaire who bought a 49.9 percent stake last year, and the possible departure of striker Romelu Lukaku, who is expected to join either Chelsea or Manchester United for a fee of up to £100m.

Broadcaster Skysports reported that Keane, 24, underwent a medical at Everton's Finch Farm training centre yesterday following three successful seasons at Burnley.

He was linked with a return to former club Manchester United before they signed Victor Lindelof from Benfica.

Strong in the tackle with a good positional sense, he won two caps for England last season when he was shortlisted for the Professional Football Association Young Player of the Year award. - REUTERS

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