At last the rumours surrounding the future of Xherdan Shaqiri can be put to bed with the player finalising a move to Stoke City yesterday. The star playmaker has penned a five-year deal in a considerable U-turn after rejecting the move to the Potteries at the start of the summer.
He signs in a reported £12million deal that will have Stoke fans drooling at the prospect of such a big name lining up in the red and white stripes.
He also rejected Everton but comments coming out of Everton would indicate that they were not impressed with some sections of the proposed deal regarding player demands.
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Everton met with representatives over several weeks and the fee being paid to Inter was never going to be a problem. But Roberto Martinez obviously had concerns following these meetings and made these comments just hours after newspapers revealed Shaqiri had signed for Stoke.
"It is not just a case of bringing in names and players for the sake of it. That is something that sounds great for 24 hours but it doesn't help in the next 10 months." He said. "To play for Everton they have to come and fit in well with what we want to do and the football club they have to represent and making sure we add to our squad which is getting stronger."
The 'doesn't help in 10 months' comment points to the next summer transfer window and reflects that the player has indeed insisted in some sort of release clause. Everton would have lost Leighton Baines, Seamus Coleman and John Stones over the last 12 months had such clauses had existed in their contracts. Whatever he insisted on, Stoke City agreed to were Everton and a whole host of other once interested clubs walked away.
Everton fans now need to trust in the judgement of Roberto Martinez and hopefully look back as the window closes at late deals that once again pay off for the Goodison outfit. Bill Kenwright and the Everton board can surely sense the fans' anxiety regarding the gaps in the squad, with fans more than aware of the large amount of money that has been injected into the club from TV rights. The next few weeks will be very interesting indeed.