Some Everton fans have named their price for in-demand winger Henry Onyekuru, after reports emerged in Turkey suggesting Galatasaray and Bayer Leverkusen are considering moves the Nigerian.
Onyekuru spent the recent campaign working under Fatih Terim at the Turk Telekom Stadium, as he was again unable to secure a UK work permit last summer.
Forty-four club games across all competitions and 16 goals did not affect his chances of obtaining clearance to play in the Premier League, however, as changes to the FA’s criteria in 2015 put a greater emphasis on being established on the international stage.
Due to Nigeria’s FIFA ranking, the 2017 signing from KAS Eupen needs to feature in 75% of his country’s competitive fixtures within a two-year period. Unfortunately, despite seven outings between September 2018 and March 2019, Onyekuru has only been named on the bench in the subsequent four ties – including each of the Super Eagles Africa Cup of Nations Group Stage games.
Thus Onyekuru would need to earn his work permit via the ‘Exceptions Panel’, but that takes into account minutes played on the international stage and his transfer fee, which did not fall within the top 25% of Premier League transfers at the time of his arrival.
Five of the Onitsha-born winger’s seven international outings in the past year also failed to last longer than 15 minutes, with four falling below the ten-minute mark.
The chances of a work permit, then, are next to none, and thus his future may reside elsewhere, at least for the next twelve months.
Following his year in Istanbul, Galatasaray are keen to secure his services again, and the Everton board appear open to the idea.
Fanatik understand the two clubs have reached an agreement in principle that will see the 22-year-old re-join Terim’s side, while Onyekuru himself hopes that he will be able to finally make his Toffees debut the following summer.
Leverkusen may scupper the Super Lig side’s plans, however, as reports have noted proposals are being made by the Bundesliga side to end all speculation of Onyekuru needing a UK work permit by signing the winger permanently during the current window.
Everton chiefs have also allegedly placed a £16.2million asking price on the winger, although Leverkusen are only willing to meet half of his reported £31,000-a-week wage.
With Onyekuru potentially leaving Merseyside over the next five weeks, here’s how much these Everton fans feel the club should demand for his services…