Richard Keys says it’s ‘really over’ for Everton after latest blunder

Former Burnley boss Sean Dyche takes over at Everton

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Former Sky Sports pundit Richard Keys has rubbed salt into Everton’s wounds by insisting that it ‘really is over’ for the Toffees if they are beaten to the free signing of Andre Ayew by Nottingham Forest. The Merseyside strugglers failed to make any signings in the January window and have been credited with a desire to land former Swansea City man Ayew in a desperate attempt to improve their forward line in advance of the Premier League run-in.

Ayew reportedly flew into the UK earlier this week to hold talks with several clubs including Everton but has since finalised a short-term move to Forest, with the Ghana legend having chosen to join the Reds ahead of the Toffees. Keys took to Twitter on Thursday to highlight the scale of Everton’s decline over the last few years, with the club now seemingly poised to suffer yet another embarrassing blow in the transfer market.

“It really is over if Forest can beat you to the signing of Andre Ayew,” wrote Keys. “And I mean no disrespect to Forest. But come on. We’re talking Everton here. Snubbed by Andre Ayew? What next?”

Ayew was previously managed by Forest boss Steve Cooper during his time at Swansea and seems to be happy to have reunited with the 43-year-old at the City Ground for the rest of the campaign. He recently became a free agent following the termination of his contract with Qatari club Al Sadd, where he spent two seasons and scored 22 goals in 39 total appearances.

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Everton’s failure to land Ayew or any other players in January has left many supporters incandescent with rage, given that new boss Sean Dyche now has a weaker squad at his disposal than the one left by Frank Lampard. The former Burnley manager will certainly have his work cut out to keep Everton in the Premier League this season, although they are just two points from safety as things stand and still have 18 matches left to put things right.

Dyche was questioned about Everton’s shortcomings in the January market at a press conference on Thursday and insisted that he does not blame owner Farhad Moshiri for the club’s less-than-ideal situation, telling reporters: “All I’ve seen is hard work, particularly in the recruitment area.

“I’ve been leaving here late at night, Kev [Thelwell] was on the phone, the owner was on the phone, so there absolutely was hard work. What promises can you make? We need to align. You can make promises but you need to know the deal that makes them.

“I’m not going to talk about players. Loads of phone calls were made, loads of offers were made, they didn’t get to the situation that we wanted for whatever reason.”

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