I won’t lose focus over tapping-up allegations, says Everton boss Marco Silva

Marco Silva insists the independent investigation into Everton’s alleged tapping-up of him when he was Watford manager is “not important”.

The Premier League has asked a law firm to launch an inquiry into whether the Toffees made an illegal approach for the Portuguese last season, Press Association Sport understands.

Everton wanted Silva to be Ronald Koeman’s replacement after the Dutchman was sacked last October, but, despite an approach to Watford, including the offer of around £10million in compensation, they were denied permission to speak to their primary target.

Silva was eventually sacked in January after results took a nosedive, allowing Everton to appoint him at the end of the campaign after bringing Sam Allardyce’s short-lived reign to an end.

Watford issued a statement claiming the catalyst for their drop-off in results was Everton’s approach which “jeopardised” the long-term future of the club.

The Hornets complained to the Premier League and, despite its attempts to mediate, and the £40million transfer of Richarlison from Vicarage Road to Goodison Park, there has been no resolution to the dispute.

“I don’t have thoughts about the situation,” said Silva.

“I don’t lose my focus, I am really calm with the situation and my focus is on what is important for me and for us as a club and it is the next game.

“I’ve been working here since July 3 to prepare our squad for the matches and training sessions.

“I don’t hear anything. It is not important for us and for me as a manager, for our players or for us as a club.”

Everton do not view the latest development as particularly significant, Press Association Sport understands.

Instead, they see it as the next step in the process towards a satisfactory conclusion for all parties.

The investigation is expected to take several months and if it suggests Everton do have a case to answer, the league would then appoint a QC-led commission which would have the power to impose a large fine.

However, the imposition of a points deduction, which is the most severe sanction, would be unprecedented and highly unlikely.

Everton face a second tapping up investigation over their alleged attempts to bring a Cardiff youngster to their academy (Peter Byrne/PA).

Everton have also become involved in a second tapping up row dating back to 2016 relating to a former Cardiff City youngster.

It is claimed the club breached regulations on the transfer of minors when attempting to sign the under-16 player.

“Everton has been notified of an allegation relating to an approach by the club to an academy-aged player,” said a club statement.

“On being made aware of this, we immediately launched an internal investigation and have been co-operating fully with all of the relevant authorities.”

Everton’s injury crisis has eased slightly with Theo Walcott, Idrissa Gana Gueye, Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Bernard all in contention for Sunday’s visit of West Ham, with £28million summer signing Yerry Mina training for the first time after a foot injury and midfielder James McCarthy also returning after breaking his leg in January.

However, defender Seamus Coleman will be out for two weeks with a stress fracture of the foot.

- Press Association

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