Blackpool captain Chris Maxwell has seen a move to the Premier League with Everton stall.
The experienced stopper had a frustrating season with reoccurring injuries that enabled Daniel Grimshaw to stake a claim for the Seasiders number one shirt last campaign. Lancs Live understand Grimshaw has been pinpointed as the Blackpool number one for next season however the club already batted off a low-ball offer from a Championship club towards the back end of last season and expect further interest throughout the summer.
Maxwell had experience coaching the under 16 side at Blackpool during Neil Critchley’s reign and it is understood that he was due to leave Bloomfield Road to join Frank Lampard’s Everton this summer as one of their backup keepers before a move stalled. Both Andy Lonergan and Asmir Begovic’s contracts expire at Goodison Park in June – although the latter has a one-year option. Also Sporting Lisbon loanee Joao Virginia was set to join the Portuguese side from Everton on a permanent basis, however recent reports suggest that has now fallen through – seeing the keeper return to Goodison which would fill the three keeper quota, albeit Sporting appear to be interested in another loan.
Everton are yet to release their retained list for the season with Lonergan’s future remaining uncertain with the club at 38 years of age, that list has to be submitted to the Premier League today (May 26). It has been reported that the one-year option on Begovic has already been taken up which leaves uncertainty remaining over the third spot and whether Everton do eventually part ways with both Lonergan and Virginia – which would open the door for Maxwell’s move to revive.
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Stuart Moore is Blackpool’s third choice goalkeeper and his contract was extended by a further year in the club’s recent retained list with another backup keeper, Charlie Monks, being released. Lancs Live understands that Matt Ingram remains on Blackpool’s radar should either Maxwell or Grimshaw leave this summer with Critchley looking for close competition between the sticks like he has had with his current pair over the course of their first Championship season since 2014/15.
Succession planning is a major part of the way the Seasiders are looking to operate in a more modern, forward-thinking manner with constant assessment and identification of players windows in advance setting them up well for ‘what-if scenarios.’
Maxwell has spoken of his coaching ambitions and has a relationship with one of Everton’s current keepers’ Begovic, with the Welsh stopper sponsored by the Bosnian international’s glove brand. At 31-years-old, and with the expectation that he would find himself on the bench in the Championship next season, Maxwell was set to make the move to Everton to play a similar role albeit at a higher level with a wage offer that the Seasiders simply could not match for a player in that squad position.
Elsewhere, central midfield remains another recruitment priority with the club having missed out on Forest Green Rovers midfielder Ebou Adams who eventually joined Cardiff City on a free transfer. Whilst a new winger is also on the agenda with Morgan Rogers linked as a target once again having been expected to join the club in January from Manchester City, being recalled from Bournemouth in the process, had Josh Bowler departed.
Bowler departing this time around looks an increasingly likely prospect with wide expectation of interest throughout the summer window, that pre-planning has already kicked in once more as Blackpool have referenced their desire for a new winger with Rogers one of the players on the list of potential options.
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