Blues manager Marco Silva told reporters today that he wants André Gomes and Kurt Zouma, both on loan, to remain at Goodison next season.
Everton manager Marco Silva wants to sign loanees André Gomes and Kurt Zouma permanently before the end of the season but the Merseysiders have yet to reach agreement with their respective parent clubs. Barcelona midfielder Gomes has been influential for Everton in recent weeks as they claimed consecutive Premier League wins over Chelsea, West Ham and Arsenal. French defender Zouma, on loan from Chelsea, has become a mainstay in defence with 27 league appearances.
Gomes and Zouma flourishing at Goodison
Asked if Everton, who are currently ninth in the table, could sign the pair immediately rather than wait for the close season, Silva said: "There's always a chance. They are happy here, which is a good sign. That means they are performing, they are enjoying it and they are helping the team also. It's up to the clubs also. It's in the players' minds also and they have to decide together with their own clubs. In the right moment we will do something."
Speaking ahead of Saturday's trip to Fulham, Silva has hailed 24-year-old Zouma's calming influence in defence alongside fellow centre back Michael Keane. "He has the qualities to be a very, very good central defender -- but has all the conditions to improve too," he added. "He's happy in our club, he's performing well and he's challenging with the other central defenders in our squad. It's a big fight for them and Zouma is proving his quality, like the others."
Everton must haggle with Barcelona for André Gomes
Everton brought in André Gomes on a one-year loan from Barcelona last August but the Merseysiders do not have a first option to buy the player outright once the loan arrangement ends at the end of June. It is unlikely that Gomes will go back to first team football at Camp Nou with Arthur, Rakitic and Vidal all before him in the pecking order. Everton will need to negotiate a transfer fee with Barça, who paid Valencia 35 million euros for the midfielder in July 2016 but with a host of add-ons including performance-related bonuses.
Zouma meanwhile is under contract with Chelsea until June 2023 although if he does return to Stamford Bridge this summer, it would be hard to see him dislodging central defensive pair David Luiz and Antonio Rüdiger, who have been used almost exclusively by Maurizio Sarri this season.