'Phenomenal' Everton transfer target makes summer decision as sporting director speaks out

England under-21 goalkeeper Sam Tickle, left. (Photo by Jess Hornby/Getty Images)England under-21 goalkeeper Sam Tickle, left. (Photo by Jess Hornby/Getty Images)
England under-21 goalkeeper Sam Tickle, left. (Photo by Jess Hornby/Getty Images) | Getty Images
Everton and Sunderland have reportedly been tracking the Wigan Athletic youngster.

Everton reported transfer target Sam Tickle has put pen to paper on a new contract at Wigan Athletic.

The goalkeeper has signed a four-year deal with the Latics, committing his future until 2028.

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Tickle, 22, enjoyed a breakthrough campaign at Wigan this season. He made a total of 52 appearances in all competitions, recording 18 clean sheets. He was named Player of the Year at the DW Stadium and earned a call-up to the England under-21 set-up.

Everton have reportedly been keeping tabs on Tickle's progress at the League One club. Jordan Pickford remains the Toffees' undisputed first-choice goalkeeper and picked up the Player of the Year award for a third successive season.

Pickford's Goodison Park contract runs until the summer of 2027 although Everton could already ben eyeing a long-term successor. Presently, Joao Virginia serves as deputy to England No.1 Pickford, with the Portuguese making three appearances in 2023-24.

Championship clubs Sunderland and Preston are also said to have shown an interest in Tickle.

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After signing his new contract, Wigan manager Shaun Maloney said: “We’re thrilled that Sam has decided to extend his contract with Wigan Athletic for the next four years. “Sam had an excellent first full season with us last year, keeping 18 clean sheets and becoming the first homegrown Latics player to make his England under-21 debut since Leighton Baines.

“His attitude - both on and off the field - has been exemplary. Sam is an outstanding young talent and we’re looking forward to working with him over the next few years to help continue his development."

Sporting director Gregor Rioch added: “Sam has been with Wigan Athletic since he was nine years old and to watch him progress as one of the best young English goalkeepers in the EFL in the last year has been a personal highlight for me and for our Academy staff who have worked with him for over a decade.

“He’s a phenomenal goalkeeper with the potential and desire to play at the very top, and we’re delighted that he’s committed his long-term future with us.”

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