By Daniel Lewis
Preston North End director Peter Ridsdale insists Everton “changed the goalposts” after the clubs had reached an agreement over Tom Cannon in the summer transfer window.
Cannon starred on loan at Deepdale last season and was wanted by the Championship side again for the 2023-24 campaign.
However, after agreeing a loan fee for the Republic of Ireland U21 international, North End were told to make a bid for a permanent deal.
Despite doing so with a club-record offer of £7.5million [The Athletic], Preston missed out to second-tier rivals Leicester City for Cannon’s signature.
Giving more details on the transfer saga, Ridsdale told the Lancashire Post [6 September]: “Our frustration, I suppose with Tom, was that we did a deal very early on – which was an expensive loan.
“Everton agreed it but said the timing would be down to them, not us. They then changed the goalposts last week, that it had to be a permanent.
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“We then decided to make a bid, which was rejected. We then did another bid, which was tinkered with at their request. I have in writing, our bid being accepted by Everton and permission to talk to him.
“And this would’ve been four times our record transfer deal. Tom then phoned to say Leicester had come in and that he fancies going to them, with them favourites for promotion.”
Can’t blame Everton
Some may question Everton’s decision to cash in on Cannon this summer given his impact in the Championship last season.
The academy product, who does not turn 21 until December, scored eight goals and assisted another in 20 appearances for Preston in the second half of last season.
Another loan looked like being a smart option if Cannon was not going to challenge for a starting spot at Goodison Park this season.
However, once it became clear that numerous clubs were willing to pay a fairly substantial sum for the Aintree-born striker, who it must be remembered has only played 24 matches at senior level, then Everton’s stance changed.
The club cannot be blamed for backtracking on their initial loan agreement with Preston, as they simply wanted what was best for them.
In this instance, selling the youngster was the choice taken and it was then Cannon’s personal decision to pick Leicester over Preston.
It would be great to see one of the club’s own make a name for himself at the King Power Stadium, but there is also some slight sadness that he will not be banging in the goals for Everton at Goodison.
In other Everton news, another player could be on the verge of completing a move away from Merseyside.
By Daniel Lewis