Everton takeover development throws Leeds United transfer move into doubt

It is well-documented that Everton are big admirers of Leeds United forward Jack Harrison. The wide man spent the 2023/24 season on loan at Goodison Park, helping Sean Dyche's side retain their Premier League status.

Kevin Thelwell, the Toffees director of football, said in May that talks over Harrison's future would take place after United's campaign concluded. The Whites agonisingly missed out on promotion, losing to Southampton in the play-off final.

Harrison is reportedly keen on an Everton return, having contributed three goals and four assists in 35 outings last term. The 27-year-old is contracted to United until the summer of 2028. A report in the national media has claimed Harrison has a clause in his contract allowing him to re-sign for the Toffees on loan.

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But are Everton in a financial position to make a move for Harrison after 777 Partners’ proposed takeover of the club fell through? It has been a long drawn out process and the Toffees say they are assessing “all options for the club’s future ownership”.

Much-maligned Everton owner Farhad Moshiri was tied into a period of exclusivity with the troubled US investment group until May 31 and could not enter into alternative discussions. But the 777 Partners’ purchase agreement with Blue Heaven Holdings Limited for the sale and purchase of the majority shareholding in the club has now run out.

A club statement read: “Everton Football Club would like to provide the following update to all stakeholders, and particularly its supporters.

“The agreement between 777 Partners and Blue Heaven Holdings Limited for the sale and purchase of the majority shareholding in the club expired today.

“The club’s board of directors recognises the considerable level of financial support 777 Partners has provided the club over recent months and would like to take this opportunity to thank them for this.

“The club will continue to operate as usual, while it works with Blue Heaven Holdings to assess all options for the club’s future ownership.

“The board of directors would like to thank everyone connected to Everton for their patience over recent months and reiterate its commitment to providing further updates when it is appropriate to do so through the club’s official communication channels.”

Moshiri told Everton’s Fan Advisory Board last week that he had received unsolicited approaches from interested parties, with American businessman John Textor reportedly selling his 40 per cent stake in Crystal Palace with a view to buying the Toffees.

When asked if he had held talks about buying Everton, Textor told The Athletic: “Yes. With the existing constituents – different groups, different lenders, different equity holders. I’ve asked them, ‘Is there a way to solve all this confusion and address everyone’s problems’?

“I’m very open-minded to it but I don’t want to come into a situation where I’m not really welcome. I’m watching it but 777 still has a contract. There are people that are close to the club who care a lot about it who are also investing.

“There’s the guy running it who’s still calling the shots. Maybe we’re uniquely positioned to solve a lot of problems for people but we’re just watching it right now because there are other people who already own pieces of that club who also want to figure it out. I’m looking at that but it’s quite confusing and some things have to clean up.”