Everton lose England U21 starlet for nothing after admin error - Exclusive
Published 23:00 06/07/10 By Alan Nixon
England under-21 starlet Dan Gosling has walked out of Everton for nothing - after the Premier League ruled he was free to quit over an amazing administrative mistake.
Gosling argued that he could leave at the end of his contract without any fee on his head because the Goodison outfit had failed to put an offer in writing to him.
And the Premier League carried out a full inquiry, with statements from both Gosling's camp and Everton, before deciding the Merseyside club had slipped up - with the player allowed to go on a free transfer.
Everton wanted Gosling to sign a new deal, with chairman Bill Kenwright making verbal offers but failing to put that in writing by the mid-May cut-off point.
Now David Moyes's club will miss out on a fee. They could have made around £4million at a tribunal if Gosling joins a rival Premier League club.
Versatile Gosling was in and out of Moyes's team over the past two seasons, with his personal highlight being the FA Cup replay winner over Liverpool. He had also been stalling on a new deal for football reasons as he wants to play more often.
Gosling is recovering from knee ligament surgery and will not be able to play for around three months. However he is now clear to speak to any club and negotiate his own terms.
Sunderland and Newcastle United are heading the chase, with West Ham also alerted about his availability. Gosling told the Premoer League tribunal that he has not spoken to any other team, but now he will be heading for a round of talks.
The result is a bitter blow for cash-conscious Everton who will be bitter about the outcome. Senior officials all put their case to the inquiry but one basic mistake has cost them a fortune.