Jordan Pickford has agreed to sign a new contract with Everton amid interest from Manchester United, it's been claimed.
The England goalkeeper has entered the final 18 months of his deal on Merseyside as the Toffees battle to retain their Premier League status. Pickford, 28, had been locked in contract talks with Goodison Park chiefs and recently emerged as a target for United manager Erik ten Hag while the Red Devils continue to asses long-term alternatives to David de Gea amid his uncertain future.
Mirror Football reported in January that fellow Premier League big boys Tottenham were also interested in the former Sunderland shot-stopper to succeed Hugo Lloris, but Pickford looks set to extend his five-and-a-half-year stay at Everton. The Athletic claims that should everything go to plan, the 28-year-old will sign his new deal this week.
Sean Dyche's arrival at Goodison Park is likely to have helped persuade Pickford to make a decision on his future, with the Toffees winning two of their three games under their new boss. Everton sit one point clear of the relegation zone and go into Saturday's home match against Aston Villa with new-found confidence.
Pickford is said to be an influential figure in Dyche's dressing room, having kept clean sheets in their recent wins. His outstanding form at the back end of last season under Frank Lampard was pivotal in helping the Toffees avoid relegation from the Premier League.
Having signed from Sunderland for £30million in the summer of 2017, Pickford has gone on to make 222 appearances for Everton. With the Toffees confident that their goalkeeper's future is secure, club officials are hoping for the same outcome as they push ahead in contract talks with midfielder Alex Iwobi.
Have your say! Should Pickford have instead decided to leave Everton? Let us know your verdict in the comments section.
Pickford's decision serves as a boost for United 'keeper De Gea, who's in negotiations to take a pay cut worth more than £100,000 per week in order to remain at Old Trafford. The high-earning Spaniard, 32, has largely been ever-present since Ten Hag took over in the summer, impressing the Red Devils boss with a strong of solid performances and improvement on the ball.
"We're still talking," De Gea, who recently equalled Peter Schmeichel's record of 180 clean sheets for the club, confirmed earlier this month when asked about his future. "I'm just focused on the games, that's the most important thing, but for sure it's going to end in a good way."
Back in November, Ten Hag emphatically put his faith in De Gea just as news began to emerge that a new deal was on the cards. "I am really happy with David, he is a great goalkeeper," the Dutchman declared. "He is only 31, he is fit, he can progress even more, he was already impressive for Man United and will be in the future as well."