Everton in advanced talks over deal for Villa's Iroegbunam

Everton are in advanced talks to sign midfielder Tim Iroegbunam from Aston Villa.

The 20-year-old joined Villa in 2022 having come through West Bromwich Albion’s academy and spent the 2022-23 season on loan at Queens Park Rangers, making 32 appearances and scoring twice.

Nothing is yet agreed but personal terms are not expected to be an issue, with Everton targeting a midfielder following speculation around Amadou Onana’s future.

Villa are prepared to let Iroegbunam leave, with the England under-20 international keen for regular game-time and is viewed as an asset that would help the club’s attempt to alleviate fears regarding the Premier League’s profitability and sustainability regulations (PSR).

Villa are expected to finalise a deal for Luton Town midfielder Ross Barkley in the coming weeks and hold an interest in other midfield targets, including Conor Gallagher.

Last season, Iroegbunam made 15 Premier League appearances and 21 across all competitions, including a solitary start away to Manchester City.


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How do Villa see him?

By Aston Villa correspondent Jacob Tanswell

Villa’s midfield options were light following Boubacar Kamara rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament in February. Despite Unai Emery openly admitting he chose to keep Iroegbunam ahead of Leander Dendoncker, who joined Napoli in January, there was a feeling the 20-year-old never fully convinced Emery in games.

Initially, Emery was impressed by Iroegbunam’s athleticism, operating as a deep-lying midfielder in a double pivot and capable of covering the width of the pitch to guard against transitions.

Emery attempted to school Iroegbunam to receive passes from his central defenders and under different angles of pressure but never had the conviction to play him regularly, with John McGinn preferring to drop deeper and play alongside Douglas Luiz.

There was a feeling at the end of the season Iroegbunam would look for regular first-team opportunities elsewhere.

Iroegbunam made 21 appearances last season (Clive Mason/Getty Images)

How can Everton afford it?

By Everton correspondent Patrick Boyland

The big question among Everton supporters will no doubt be how they’re able to afford this deal.

The club’s financial problems are well documented, and The Athletic has previously reported that they’re expected to do business before the end of the month in a bid to improve their PSR position.

The simple answer is that Everton must already be confident of bringing in the necessary profit required before June 30.

So expect a busy couple of weeks in the build-up to the PSR deadline.

Iroegbunam also fits their blueprint. Young, talented and with clear resale value, he would help address a priority position and strengthen the midfield after the departure of Andre Gomes.

Amadou Onana has also attracted interest from Champions League clubs and is expected to leave if Everton’s valuation is met.

(Alex Davidson/Getty Images)

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