Bielsa doubts, Spurs’ Danjuma move and Gordon absence add to Everton woe

Everton’s turbulent season descended into further chaos on Tuesday when Marcelo Bielsa expressed doubts over replacing Frank Lampard, Tottenham hijacked the club’s move for Arnaut Danjuma and Anthony Gordon missed training amid interest from Newcastle.

Bielsa is the preferred candidate of Everton’s owner, Farhad Moshiri, and has been approached about a Premier League return 11 months after being sacked by Leeds. The 67-year-old, however, needs to be convinced about taking over in a relegation battle. It is believed the Argentinian has reservations over the state of a club that has sacked six permanent managers in just under seven years and the suitability of the squad to his methods.

Everton desperately need to improve their attacking options in the final days of the transfer window but a proposed loan for Villarreal’s Danjuma has fallen through, with the player heading to Spurs.

The Netherlands international passed a medical at Everton over the weekend, agreed personal terms and even posed for publicity shots. Everton planned to announce what would have been their first signing of the window on Monday or Tuesday but Danjuma refused to submit his registration forms to the Football Association amid the uncertainty at the club. That enabled Spurs to make a loan offer to the former Bournemouth player and he has travelled to London to complete that deal instead.

Lampard had been heavily involved in the move for Danjuma with Everton’s director of football, Kevin Thelwell. Lampard had previously seen interest in Danny Ings, Kevin Schade and Georginio Rutter come to nothing with the strikers joining West Ham, Brentford and Leeds respectively.

Everton could raise funds by selling Anthony Gordon and the homegrown forward, who Lampard refused to sell to Chelsea for £40m last summer, is wanted by Newcastle. The two clubs are far apart in their valuation, however, and Everton’s managerial situation could affect Gordon’s future. The 21-year-old was poised to sign a new contract in December before falling out of favour with Lampard. Everton value him at £55m.

Amadou Onana, who joined Everton from Lille last summer, has also been linked with a January move, to Chelsea and Arsenal. Neither Onana nor Gordon reported for the first day of training on Tuesday under Paul Tait and Leighton Baines, although the Belgium international’s absence was prearranged.

Bielsa is not the only candidate under consideration by the Everton board. There has been contact with representatives of the former Burnley manager Sean Dyche, who is available, and the West Bromwich Albion head coach, Carlos Corberán, who worked with Bielsa at Leeds, is also of interest. The former Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhüttl is another option.