Steve Walsh claims Everton rejected the chance to sign Harry Maguire and Andy Robertson for a combined £20 million.

The former chief scout at Leicester City moved to Goodison Park as director of football in the summer of 2016 after developing a reputation as a keen eye for talent with the Foxes.

Walsh unearthed gems such as N’Golo Kante, Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez who all played major roles in Leicester’s unexpected Premier League title success in 2016.

Expectations were high alongside newly appointed manager Ronald Koeman, but a disastrous transfer window in 2017 ultimately cost the pair their jobs.

Maguire has since moved to Manchester United for £80 million, while Robertson won the Champions League last season with Liverpool and was appointed Scotland captain in September 2018.

But Walsh believes things could have been different had the club backed him in his pursuit of the former Hull City duo as well as interest in Jonny Evans and Red Bull Salzburg starlet Erling Haaland.

“While I was at Everton, I offered them Andrew Robertson and Harry Maguire deals, while they were at Hull, and it was £20 million for the pair. Everton wouldn’t take them,” Walsh told The Athletic.

“I had a deal done for Jonny Evans too before he came to Leicester, but again they wouldn’t take him. Erling Haaland the striker with Salzburg, I had him and his dad at the club for €4 million. The club wouldn’t back me.”

Walsh also had a spell at Chelsea, which coincided with the arrival of Jose Mourinho in 2004.

While at Stamford Bridge, Walsh provided scouting reports on Gianfranco Zola, Didier Drogba and Michael Essien, remaining on good terms with the Portuguese to this day.

The former Blues man revealed he had a conversation with Mourinho prior to the-then Manchester United manager’s signing of Romelu Lukaku in 2017.

It was failure to replace Lukaku at Everton that proved costly in Walsh’s tenure with the Toffees.

He said: “When Jose signed Romelu Lukaku from Everton, I remember saying to him, ‘You have to be careful with Lukaku. He is a big baby, you know.’ He said he could handle him.

“I don’t think he really got Lukaku on-side mentally, which you have to do. That is the case with him and Paul Pogba. They aren’t my type of players. They are more about themselves than the team. I wouldn’t have touched them. Because they are good players doesn’t mean you are going to get a good team out of it.”

Picture credited to Dom Fellowes under CC Licence