Everton striker Anthony Gordon has missed training for a second day in a row as his future at the club is increasingly in doubt.
The 21-year-old has been the focus of interest for Newcastle this transfer window and missed the team’s return to Finch Farm training complex on Tuesday following the sacking of manager Frank Lampard.
Everton again expected Gordon to train on Wednesday, but PA news agency understands the academy graduate was absent for a second day without permission, raising further doubts about his long-term future at his childhood club.
Midfielder Amadou Onana, reportedly of interest to Arsenal, rejoined the group on Wednesday after the club were absent the previous day.
Just a month ago, Gordon, whose current contract expires in 2025, was due to sign a new deal, but things have gone from bad to worse since then.
Started the Boxing Day defeat to Wolves, the winger has only made two substitute appearances since then, totaling 30 minutes, and despite being the club’s top scorer in the Premier League this season with three goals, he was on the bench for the entirety of the season. game. 90 minutes in last weekend’s defeat to West Ham.
Both Newcastle and Chelsea made bids for Gordon in the summer but the club were adamant that the youngster was not for sale and while that resolve may now be waning, without a manager in place it makes sanctioning a potential departure difficult.
It is an added complication that Everton, who are facing relegation, do not need now as they are looking for an eighth permanent manager in less than seven years under owner Farhad Moshiri.
Nine defeats in 12 league matches saw Lampard win, and the club stayed off the bottom of the table on goal difference alone.
Former Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa has emerged as the favorite to replace him but the deal remains complicated for him and with the transfer window closing in six days Everton want a new man in place by the end of the week.
The club also considered Carlos Corberan, who has done an impressive job turning around West Brom’s failing fortunes in the Sky Bet Championship.
Mention was also made of unemployed former Burnley boss Sean Dyche and Sam Allardyce who were at the club for six months to save them from trouble in the 2017-18 season.
Moshiri admits this is a crucial time for the club, which has not been relegated since 1951.
“This is the most critical time in our history. It’s almost an existential point,” he told the Everton Fans’ Advisory Council ahead of Saturday’s game against West Ham.
“I believe in this management. I’m not afraid of change. We make changes when needed.
“We will be ruthless. We have to stay calm and go beyond our current position on the pitch.
A chaotic 24 hours on Tuesday saw Everton miss out on Villarreal winger Arnaut Danjuma’s loan as, despite a deal in place, Tottenham seized the move and confirmed the Dutch striker as their player on Wednesday.
This means a squad that desperately needs a refresh still has no new face in January.
Moshiri admits behind-the-scenes setbacks contributed to the shotgun and largely failed transfer policy under his ownership.
“Why didn’t it work? I think it’s a big question because the structure is there,” he said of his transition to director of football during his time at the club.
“We had Steve Walsh from Leicester, a very experienced scout, Marcel Brands, one of Europe’s top directors, and now Kevin Thelwell.
“I think the reason is that some shortcomings in various football management departments have not been addressed.
“They are necessary for proper recruitment, which affects availability and Financial Fair Play. Once these players have been purchased, additional players cannot be purchased.
“We didn’t get much out of those players.