Everton transfer focus – Moyes passes on poor value Rodallega

David Moyes’ attempts to further add to his Everton squad ahead of the new Premier League season by drafting in former Wigan Athletic forward Hugo Rodallega have been foiled by the Colombian’s wage demands, which rendered what seemed a bargain free transfer as utterly overpriced, especially when compared to the signing of Nikica Jelavic.

Instead of making the short journey from the DW Stadium to Goodison Park, Rodallega will instead ply his trade at Fulham’s Craven Cottage, subject to the award of a work permit. Everton had been considered front-runners for the signature of the 26-year-old, who left Wigan at the end of the season when his contract expired. Rodallega is thought to have held talks with Everton but, if the Daily Post report that claims Rodallega wanted wages of around £70,000 per week is to be believed, that meeting likely came to an abrupt end not long after money was discussed.

If Moyes had caved to Rodallega’s demands then Rodallega would have become one of the highest-paid players in Everton’s history, alongside the likes of Mikel Arteta and Marouane Fellaini. Would Rodallega have been worth such an outlay? Moyes evidently thought not. But any suggestion that Everton, with their perennially-tight budget, could be held to ransom for a Premier League-quality player available on a free transfer was banished when Moyes backed away from Rodallega. If nothing else, the Rodallega non-deal underlines that a free transfer is anything but free.

The Guardian revealed that Rodallega signed for Fulham on a three-year contract. If the mooted £70,000 a week requested from Everton also holds true for Fulham, and the Cottagers acquiesced to such an amount, then over the next three years Rodallega will cost Martin Jol’s side more £10m, and that does not include any bonuses that may be included in the contract. In a single year Rodallega will earn slightly more than Moyes, whose salary the Daily Mirror this week put at £3.5m. For over £10m Moyes may well have felt he can tempt a better player to Everton, including the transfer fee, and his past record suggests he may be right.

As an example, the Herald, a Scottish newspaper, puts the fee paid for Nikica Jelavic at £5m and wages of £40,000 a week for four-and-a-half years, or £9.3m over the course of the contract. Combined with the transfer fee Everton will pay £14.3m for Jelavic, not including bonuses, for a player who turns 27 in August. Rodallega – who turns 27 in two weeks’ time – scored twice last season, and has never scored more than 10 goals in English football. Jelavic, on the other hand, scored 11 goals in 16 games since joining from Rangers in January.

For a difference of less than £5m Everton signed Jelavic, a player the same age as Rodallega and who scored more than five times the goals last season. By letting Rodallega go elsewhere Moyes ensured that whatever money he has available to spend will be spent as wisely as possible.

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