After a slow start to the transfer window, Everton look set to complete their fourth signing ahead of their trip to Aston Villa this weekend.
The Toffees are close to completing a deal for Wolverhampton Wanderers captain Conor Coady, according to The Guardian.
The 29-year-old will initially join the club on loan until the end of the season before Everton can take up the option to make his switch permanent next summer.
The move comes as quite a surprise to football fans, with Coady spending the last seven years at the Midlands club.
However, Coady has been at the wrong end of Lage’s fresh tactics for the new season, with the 46-year-old now opting to play four at the back.
Meanwhile, Wolves have also snapped up Nathan Collins from Burnley and his arrival meant Coady was benched for their opening fixture against Leeds United.
While the England international will still have a strong connection with the club, he is desperate to seek first time football elsewhere ahead of this winter’s World Cup.
The defender was part of the squad that reached the Euro 2020 final last year, though he will face some tough competition to make the flight to Qatar in November.
What have Wolves said about the transfer?
Conor Coady was a hugely popular figure at Molineux and Bruno Lage was happy to keep him, though was understanding in allowing him to leave.
On Friday, the Wolves boss praised his captain and described him as ‘one of the best people I know in football’.
Lage said: “Since Wolves arrived in the Premier League do you know how many games they played? 152. You know how many games Coady played? 151. With me he played all the games.
“Massive respect from me to Coady and massive respect from the club to Coady. Now I have more solutions and I will choose the best for my team, but I cannot forget Coady.”
Is Conor Coady a Liverpool fan?
As well as the shock of Conor Coady finally leaving Wolves, it also came as a huge surprise to see him joining Everton due to his apparent loyalty to Liverpool.
The centre-back was born in St Helens in Merseyside and spent nine years with the Reds after joining their academy in 2005.
Back in 2009, Coady revealed his allegiance to Liverpool.
He said: “Everybody knows I supported Liverpool growing up but I’m playing for Wolves now.
“I look at Liverpool’s results and hope they win games – it’s as simple as that.
“But I play for Wolves now and I play for this football club no matter who we are playing against. We’re going there to win and that’s the mentality we’ll all have.
“My mates are all Liverpool season ticket holders. They keep saying things to me about it. I’ve had millions of ticket requests, absolutely millions. I don’t know how I’m going to do it to be honest.”
This would suggest Coady was very much a Liverpool fan in 2019 and it seems unlikely that that has changed in the last three years.