It was a dead cert that Jordan Pickford was going to leave Sunderland this summer, and today it has been confirmed that a bid of around £30m has been agreed between our club and Everton in order to take the Academy of Light product to Goodison Park next season.
Originally reported this morning by the Telegraph, it didn't take long for the news to reach other outlets and once it arrived on the pages of Skysports.com our fears were basically confirmed - Sunderland's best player will leave the club this summer.
Any lingering hope that Sunderland supporters had that Pickford would remain on Wearside next season were, unfortunately, nothing more than fantasy.
Pickford is without a doubt going to be a world class goalkeeper.
His talent is so incredibly varied, and like no other 'keeper in the Premier League he is able to distribute the ball in a way that you simply cannot coach. He's a leader; he's got drive and passion in abundance, character traits that compliment his sublime technical ability perfectly.
BREAKING: Everton have agreed fee totalling £30m for Sunderland goalkeeper Jordan Pickford pic.twitter.com/jzkURUIjlJ— Sky Sports News HQ (@SkySportsNewsHQ) June 13, 2017
My only regret regarding Pickford's time at the club is that we weren't able to see more of him - with just one season between the sticks for our first team, fragmented by an injury mid-way through our last campaign, it's safe to say that Jordan Pickford's best years are ahead of him and it's a damn shame that we won't be able to see what he is fully capable of in a Sunderland shirt.
You'd imagine that with a fee agreed that this deal is merely a formality now and, unless another club comes along to match the offer, he'll be an Everton player once his participation in the U21s European Championships tournament this month comes to a close.
I take heart from the fact he's headed to such a fantastic club. Everton have been a fine developer of young talent in recent years and Pickford will be given the opportunities to shine at a level that will help alleviate him on his path to becoming England number 1 - that at least gives us some comfort when considering the circumstances of him leaving our club, on the back of a tepid relegation from the Premier League after a ten year stint in England's top division.
Re-investing the money we recuperate from Pickford's transfer away from the club is massively important to how well we do in the Championship next season.
I have fears that our new manager will see very little of whatever we make from player sales this summer but with such an epic overhaul of our first-team squad needed, and the public nature of this deal meaning supporters are aware of how much money Sunderland have made from the transfer, there will be an expectancy from the fans that the majority of the Pickford money is used on bringing more players to the club that can succeed here and perhaps make us even more money in the future.