Tuesday 12 December 2017

Everton complete signing of Leicester City recruitment supremo Steve Walsh

Leicester look set to lose Steve Walsh (left) as their head of recruitment Credit: REUTERS
Leicester look set to lose Steve Walsh (left) as their head of recruitment Credit: REUTERS

John Percy

Everton have made a statement of intent after raiding Premier League champions Leicester City for their head of recruitment, Steve Walsh.

Walsh will be confirmed as Everton’s new director of football on Wednesday in a potentially damaging blow to Leicester City as they prepare to defend their title.

Everton have agreed to pay about £2  million in compensation to land the highly regarded recruitment chief, who also doubled up as Leicester’s assistant manager, and talks were concluded on Tuesday.

Though Leicester initially rejected an approach from the Merseysiders, Walsh made it clear he wanted to speak to Everton officials to set the move in motion.

Walsh has played a huge part in Leicester’s recent history, discovering the likes of Jamie Vardy, Riyad Mahrez and N’Golo Kanté.

Vardy was signed for a non-League record of £1 m from Fleetwood Town yet is now an established England international while Mahrez – rated at over £45m by Leicester – cost only £400,000 from Le Havre.

Kanté was relatively unknown when he joined Leicester from Caen for £5.5 m last summer but last weekend signed for Chelsea in a £32 m deal, representing a healthy profit for City.

Everton are determined to improve their infrastructure after a string of questionable signings, most notably Oumar Niasse, and believe Walsh can help them move into an exciting new era. He will work closely alongside new Everton manager Ronald Koeman, with signings expected to follow swiftly.

Walsh is the third member of Leicester’s recruitment team to leave in 18 months after Rob Mackenzie and Ben Wrigglesworth quit for Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal respectively.

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