Everton have made a transfer offer with a catch, as they attempt to prise rising star Jean-Clair Todibo away from Barcelona with a take it or leave it offer of £22m.
The Merseyside club have just four centre-backs in their first-team squad, while only Mason Holgate, Yerry Mina and Michael Keane have played regularly in the Premier League this season.
The club sit down in 12th place in the league currently, and their final match before football was suspended in the UK was a disappointing 4-0 defeat to Chelsea.
20-year-old Todibo, a France Under-20 international and graduate of the Toulouse academy, had only played ten times for the first team before Barcelona signed him in January 2019.
He has been on loan at Schalke since January this year, and the Bundesliga side have an option to buy set at around £21m.
According to the Mail, Everton have told Barcelona of their interest in buying Todibo, although there is a condition. The Toffees have given the Spanish champions an ‘ultimatum’ to respond in the next few days, otherwise they will retract their offer of around £22m.
Barça, however, are willing to let this offer pass by, as they wait it out for the likes of Serie A duo Inter and Juventus to show interest in the talented centre back.
Schalke, for their part, are not tempted by Barcelona’s offer to make the loan a permanent deal. The German club have reportedly decided it unwise to spend that amount of money given the financial problems many clubs will find themselves in amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Barcelona meanwhile are willing to offload Todibo as part of a plan to raise at least €70m through player sales to help balance the books and set up moves for top targets Miralem Pjanic and Lautaro Martinez.
The likes of Philippe Coutinho, Arthur Melo, Samuel Umtiti and Nelson Semedo are also among the players likely to be jettisoned this summer.