Everton's director of football, Marcel Brands, has rejected Manchester United's claims that the Toffees were forced to pay 'excessive agents fees' in order to lure Yerry Mina from Barcelona on deadline day.
According to the Guardian, Brands, who saw off both United and Lyon in order to capture the Colombian star, claims that Everton merely paid what they had offered at the start of negotiations to sign the centre back.
Brands also suggested that the deal took so long to complete because the Spanish side, who also handed Andre Gomes and Lucas Digne to Marco Silva's side, were simply waiting for United to better the Toffees' offer.
When asked on the formalities of the deal, Brands said: "No, no, it was really simple behind the scenes. I put the offer in and Barcelona asked for a totally different amount that we would never have paid.
"Then they said: ‘OK, we will wait until the end of the market’. We never changed our offer. That was a bit of a gamble because everyone was writing about Man United and Barcelona used that, agents used that, everyone used it.
On Jose Mourinho's side's alleged interest in the 23-year-old, Brands remarked: “I don’t know exactly if Man United were in.
"The player said constantly to me: ‘I want to go to Everton’. That was a great thing for us but you never know if Man United comes in and offers an extra £150,000 a week – every player would like to do that.
"I don’t know exactly the situation with Man United but of course Barcelona used it. They said to me: ‘Man United are coming in’. I don’t know if they did but I took a bit of a risk with that.
"That’s why we were also keen on back-ups, you never know, but after the weekend before the market closed I had a confident feeling about it.”
Seeing as Phil Jagielka will miss Everton's next match after being booked against Wolves, Mina may get the chance to make his Premier League debut in front of the Toffees' home support this Saturday when Southampton arrive at Goodison Park.