Schalke sporting director Rouven Schroder has explained why the Bundesliga side did not sell reported Everton target Malick Thiaw in January.
New boss Frank Lampard was thrown in at the deep end on transfer deadline day. He has revealed in his programme notes that he prioritised deals for Dele Alli and Donny van de Beek on Monday. The club were also linked with a number of other players with a “hectic few hours” ensuing at Goodison.
“The timing of my appointment, on transfer deadline day, made for an incredibly hectic few hours trying to complete the deals we wanted,” wrote Lampard.
“Dele and Donny were the two players we prioritised. And the owner, chairman and board worked extraordinarily hard to get those moves across the line.”
Elsewhere though Sport 1 claimed that Everton are one of the clubs that are showing keen interest in signing Schalke defender Thiaw,
West Ham, AC Milan and Napoli were also credited with an interest in signing Thiaw.
Thiaw was initially linked with Liverpool in March 2020 as a potential successor to Dejan Lovren before they sold the Croatian international.
Bild then reported Liverpool had revived their interest in the player in November 2020. The Reds though never firmed up their interest, leaving Everton to take an interest in him in 2022.
However, Schalke chief Schroder has revealed that the club did not receive an offer that met their valuation for the 20-year-old centre-back.
“We had a clear position. The player is ours and has a contract,” Schroder told German daily WAZ.
“Malick is a very important building block for us. And on the other hand, there is also a certain transfer fee.
“If it doesn’t fit, it just doesn’t fit.”
Meanwhile, Lampard believes FA Cup victory this weekend can provide the springboard to get Everton moving upwards again.
Lampard takes charge of his first match as Everton manager on Saturday as Brentford visit Goodison for a fourth-round tie.
Ensuring Premier League survival is Lampard’s priority this season but making progress in the cup could be vital to restoring confidence and getting his reign off to a successful start.
‘Impressed with the players’
“I don’t want to make too many drastic statements about the Brentford game or the Newcastle game (next Tuesday) because we have to work,” said Lampard, whose appointment as Rafael Benitez’s successor was confirmed on Monday.
“But I’ve been very impressed with the players and the lift I’ve sensed in the last few days of training.
“The next step from that is definitely results and what could be better than Goodison, with the atmosphere that I’m sure we’ll get on Saturday, and the opportunity to get into the next round of a cup that the club has a glorious history of?
“I know it’s not as recent as we’d like but with the talent we’ve got we want to go as far as we can in this cup. And then we want to be able to carry on that momentum. So it’s a big game for us in that sense.”
Former Chelsea boss Lampard has inherited a team that has slipped to 16th in the Premier League. They have managed just one win in 14 games.
Although the focus will be on the cup this weekend. Dominic Calvert-Lewin though misses out through injury. While new signings Dele Alli and Donny van de Beek are cup-tied.
Lampard wary of talented Brentford
Lampard is also wary of the threat Brentford can pose, even though Thomas Frank’s side have been in poor form. The Bees head to Merseyside on the back of four successive Premier League defeats.
“(We face) the challenge of a very good team,” said former England midfielder Lampard. “I think everyone who’s watching the Premier League this year can see it’s a very well constructed team.
“There’s big talent in the team, great organisation and style of play. And a philosophy that goes right throughout the club which the manager harnesses brilliantly.
“It’ll be a very tough match and we have to be at our absolute best. But we must focus on ourselves because we are also a very good team.”