Transfer Turmoil: Atalanta’s Move for Everton’s Godfrey Derails

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Italian Tax Reforms Upend Atalanta’s Plans

In a sudden twist of fate, Atalanta’s efforts to acquire Everton defender Ben Godfrey have been thwarted, not by negotiations or personal terms, but by a shift in Italian tax legislation. The 25-year-old England international, who had been earmarked as Atalanta boss Gian Piero Gasperini’s prime target following high praise from ex-Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti, finds his potential move in jeopardy.

Clubs’ Agreement Crumbles Amidst Financial Constraints

Despite Atalanta and Everton entering into discussions over a transfer fee and an apparent consensus that personal terms would not pose a problem, the abolishment of a significant tax break in Italy has put an abrupt end to the negotiations. The Crescita Decree, which previously offered a 50 percent tax reduction for high-income foreign earners, has been scrapped, leading to a reassessment of the deal’s financial viability from Atalanta’s perspective.

Godfrey’s Everton Future Hangs in the Balance

With the collapse of the transfer, Godfrey’s tenure at Goodison Park hangs uncertain. Everton manager Sean Dyche had sanctioned the defender’s departure in a bid to trim the club’s wage expenditure. Yet, Godfrey’s limited playtime this season – a mere three appearances across all competitions and a single Premier League start – complicates his situation. The robust defender, who joined Everton from Norwich City in 2020 for approximately £25 million, has since made 80 appearances for the Toffees.

Defensive Dynamics: Dyche’s Dilemma

Everton’s new defensive strategy under Dyche has seen James Tarkowski, Michael Keane, and Jarrad Branthwaite become the regulars in a three-man defence, leaving Godfrey on the periphery. The tax reform in Italy may have stalled a potential pathway for Godfrey, but it also raises questions about his role in an Everton side that is looking to navigate through a challenging period.

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