Everton will have to pay only £4.5 million to sign England international Conor Coady from Wolves next summer.
Coady joined Everton on a season-long loan in August and it can be revealed Wolves agreed a remarkably low transfer fee for the defender to move permanently.
The 29-year-old has already proved a huge success since signing for Frank Lampard, even captaining the club in the recent win over West Ham. Everton’s recruitment has been under serious scrutiny in recent years but the deal struck with Wolves will be regarded as excellent business.
Kevin Thelwell, Everton’s director of football, previously worked in a similar position at Wolves and was heavily influential in the deal thanks to his close relationship with Jeff Shi, the Midlands club’s chairman.
After signing from Liverpool in 2015, he became a crucial figure in their recent history, playing a huge role in the club’s promotion back to the Premier League in 2018.
Yet this summer Wolves head coach Bruno Lage, who was sacked on Sunday, made it clear that Coady was not in his first-team plans. Lage wanted to operate with a back-four who play at a high line and did not feel Coady would fit into his system. Coady pushed for a move away as he did not envisage becoming a squad player.
His move has generated some criticism from Wolves fans after their difficult start to the season but the club viewed the sale of Coady as necessary and the start of a new cycle.
Republic of Ireland international Nathan Collins, 21, signed from Burnley for £20.5 million and has already formed a promising partnership in the heart of the defence with Maximilian Kilman, 25.
There is no recall in the loan deal for Coady, and Everton will move to sign him permanently before the end of this season. It is understood there are a few humble add-ons, dependent on factors such as league appearances.
Lampard also signed James Tarkowski on a free transfer this summer, after his contract expired at Burnley, so the capture of two experienced centre-halves at this level represents outstanding value. Coady has helped Everton to six matches unbeaten ahead of this weekend's match against Manchester United.