Everton transfer blow as major update emerges on £25m target after boardroom intervention

Everton target Willy Gnonto has returned to Leeds United training, according to reports
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Everton target Willy Gnonto has returned to training with the rest of Leeds United’s first-team squad after handing in a transfer request ahead of the club’s 1-1 draw with West Brom on Friday night.

The player has made himself unavailable for the club’s last three games, missing the win over Shrewsbury Town in the League Cup and the last two Championship matches versus Birmingham City and the Baggies.

The Whites have seen a number of players leave the club since their relegation from the Premier League, with Everton already securing a loan move for winger Jack Harrison. Gnonto has previously shown a desire to leave the club and submitted an official transfer request on Friday evening.

He has been training away from the rest of the first team at Leeds but the Yorkshire Evening Post reports the player joined up with the rest of Daniel Farke’s squad for training on Tuesday following talks with chief executive Angus Kinnear on Monday.

Everton have seen a number of bids rejected for the player, with the latest reportedly coming in at £25m. Leeds have publicly stated their stance is not to sell the player during this window and his return to training has given the Elland Road club a boost in their bid to keep him in West Yorkshire.

A statement earlier this month read: “Earlier this week, Willy Gnonto and his representatives were informed by the club that he would not be sold this summer. Following those conversations, Willy felt he was unable to play in Wednesday night’s Carabao Cup tie with Shrewsbury Town.

“Despite training for the last two days, Willy has informed Daniel Farke that he still does not feel able to play this weekend and has not travelled to Birmingham for the game tomorrow. This is now an internal disciplinary matter and the club will make no further comment, other than to reiterate that Willy Gnonto is not for sale.”

The Italian international joined the club last summer and is set to be available for selection against Ipswich Town this weekend. Gnonto’s agent Claudio Vigorelli had previously accused Leeds of blocking requests from Premier League clubs.

He told Italian radio via the Yorkshire Post: “The situation is complicated. Leeds are blocking the requests we have in the Premier League.”

However, the latest development appears to suggest Gnonto is willing to play for Leeds again with Farke previously making players train away from the remainder of the first-team squad if they were unwilling to play for the club.