Everton have been left seething by the decision of Manuel Fernandes to join Valencia despite assuring Everton manager David Moyes on Thursday that he would move to Goodison Park in “24 hours”.
Fernandes, who was on loan at Everton last season, arrived in England on Thursday to complete his transfer.
Personal terms had been agreed on a five-year contract at Goodison, a two-part medical completed, third-party ownership issues had been resolved and the player had shaken hands on the transfer.
But the midfielder on Monday signed a six-year deal at Spanish side Valencia for a total fee of £12m.
At a news conference to announce his arrival at Valencia, Fernandes gave no explanation for his decision to snub Everton.
“I thank Valencia for their confidence and hope to be in my new team for many years,” the Portuguese midfielder said last night.
“I have spoken before with Miguel [Valencia’s Portuguese full-back] and he has told me that it is a great club, with the possibility to grow.”
After Benfica confirmed Fernandes would join Valencia, Everton issued a statement on their official website to “clarify the situation”.
“We worked hard all last week on what was a very difficult and complex three-party agreement,” it read.
“Everton staff worked through the night on Thursday, finally reaching agreement with the English footballing authorities on Friday afternoon.
“A similar night’s work on Friday left us satisfied that we had both addressed and agreed all issues with the other involved parties.
“However, on Saturday we were informed that another club had come in with a rival bid and despite sustained efforts over the remainder of the weekend the player joined Valencia.”