‘I wish her well’ - Everton manager Kirk 'expects' midfielder Egurrola to join Lyon this week

Damaris Egurrola Everton Women 2020-21
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The seven-time Champions League winners are ready to trigger the release clause in the Spaniard's contract, four months after she moved to England

Everton manager Willie Kirk has confirmed reports that Lyon are set to sign midfielder Damaris Egurrola.

The Spaniard only signed for the Toffees in September, after a move to Barcelona collapsed, but there is a release clause in her contract that the reigning European champions are ready to activate in order to complete the transfer.

“She will go with our best wishes and I fully expect that to happen in the next 2-3 days,” Kirk said, speaking in his press conference on Friday morning.

“I had a really good, honest conversation with her. I think her first inclination was to stay at Everton, because she’s enjoying it, and any footballer who is enjoying their football is certainly not looking to leave. She wasn’t actively looking to leave.

“She was as surprised as anyone else. When she realised how serious that interest was, she obviously had to look at it seriously and it’s a fantastic opportunity for her.

“Lyon will give you different experiences to what we will give you just now and I’d imagine if they’re paying a transfer fee that is reported to be six figures, I’m sure the contract will reflect that.

“There’s no way Damaris is moving for the money, but that is a consequence of getting such a high-profile transfer and it’s a big opportunity for her.

“I wish her well. I’d have loved for her to stay. She wasn’t looking to move, she’d have happily stayed and seen out her contract, but these opportunities might not come along often.”

Reports suggest the fee will be around €100,000 (£89,000/$121,000), a significant fee in the women’s game. The sport’s most expensive transfer to date occurred last summer, when Pernille Harder joined Chelsea from Wolfsburg in a deal believed to cost around €350,000 (£311,000/$424,000).

“Transfers are still few and far between in the women’s game, so if there is a big figure attached to it, we all know in the women’s game that news will probably travel really quickly,” Kirk added.

“I’m sure anybody we try and sign between now and the end of the transfer window, there’ll be a premium added on to it because they know we’ve got as much as £100,000 coming in. That’s the way it goes.

“I suppose it’s supply and demand. People know we’ll be trying to fill a void, if we think there is a void, but it’s a sign of the women’s game in terms of transfer fees.

“We weren’t shy ourselves in the summer in terms of spending money on [Valerie] Gauvin, which I think was a great bit of business.

“We knew how good a player Damaris was, so we were keen to get a minimum fee release clause in there, and for that type of player, you’d expect a minimum fee release clause of six figures. Lyon are one club that can trigger that sort of thing.”

Egurrola will become Lyon’s second signing of the January window, following the arrival of Catarina Macario earlier this week.

Macario was born in Brazil but was recently cleared to represent the United States at senior level, having acquired American citizenship.

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Everton themselves are hoping to get some signings in this month, with Kirk having identified the centre-back position as one area in particular he wants to strengthen.

Rikke Sevecke suffered an ankle injury in December that meant Egurrola was pushed back into defence and she is still not back to full fitness.

Kirk revealed on Friday that the club had "missed out on a defender" who "chose to go elsewhere", but he added that the club hope to confirm "at least one" new signing next week.

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