Ben Godfrey set for Everton exit after breakthrough in transfer talks

Atalanta have moved a step closer in the pursuit of Ben Godfrey.

The Europa League winners submitted a €10m bid for the 26-year-old earlier this week - an offer that fell below Everton’s valuation, and which was less than a rival bid by French side Lyon.

But discussions have continued today and as a result there is growing confidence a deal between the Blues and Atalanta is now close.

The breakthrough comes with Godfrey understood to prefer a move to Atalanta. As previously reported by the ECHO, the Bergamo-based outfit have been in poll position to land the former Norwich City player due to their longstanding interest in him, which included an attempt to sign him on loan in January.

READ MORE: Tim Iroegbunam reveals important advice he has already had from one Everton team-mate

READ MORE: I built Everton's training ground - this is what the Freidkin Group could do with it

Everton refused to sanction the departure of Godfrey, who went on to play a significant role in the second half of the season. But Atalanta’s interest has persisted while the club’s appeal has been strengthened by its success in the Europa League, which means it can offer Godfrey Champions League football.

Godfrey is due to enter the final 12 months of his contract this summer, meaning he would be available on a free next year should no deal be reached. Any sale would help to strengthen Everton’s position in relation to its efforts to comply with the Premier League’s Profit and Sustainability Regulations.