Conor Coady has left Everton and returned to Wolves following his loan spell, with the Toffees having passed up an option to sign the defender on a permanent basis.

The Goodison Park club have also announced that former Wolves defender Ruben Vinagre will return to Sporting Lisbon after an injury-impacted loan spell on Merseyside.

Coady made 25 appearances for Everton this season, including a start in Sunday’s vital 1-0 win over Bournemouth which secured safety, and scored two goals.

Coady, capped 10 times by England, joined the Toffees last August in a deal which included an option to buy, but that option has now expired.

Vinagre made only four appearances in all competitions.

Everton director of football Kevin Thelwell said: “We want to sincerely thank Conor and Ruben for their impeccable professionalism and valuable contributions both on and off the pitch during their time with the club.

“We wish both players the best in their futures.”

Everton’s escape from relegation will not automatically free them from problems which caused that predicament and proposed new investment will have to inevitably bring changes at boardroom level, according to a leading academic.

While Premier League revenue has been secured for another season – extending their top-flight stay into a 70th season – a club which has cumulative losses of more than £430million in the last four years will have to make significant changes.

And while American investors MSP Sports Capital are poised to buy into the club, Kieran Maguire – from the University of Liverpool Management School’s Centre for Sports Business – believes that will not come without strings attached.

Fans who have been protesting against what they claim is mismanagement by the current board, including chairman Bill Kenwright and CEO Denise Barrett-Baxendale in particular, will welcome that prospect but what impact it has on owner Farhad Moshiri’s approach remains to be seen.

“Someone suggested £150million for 25 per cent, which would value the club around £600m. Newcastle went for £300m,” Maguire, speaking about the new investment, told the PA news agency.

“If a new person was coming in, they’d be looking for board representation, more concessions from Moshiri and then where does it leave him: owning three-quarters of a football club and he’d walk away with a big loss.

“MSP are looking to bring two directors onto the board and for there to be changes on the existing board.”

However, a new, albeit partial, boardroom will not sweep away all Everton’s issues.

There are deep-rooted problems at the club which the £600m Moshiri has spent on transfers alone have failed to solve.

That means it will take some turning around and – after back-to-back seasons of narrowly avoiding relegation – it could be a painful and complicated process with a squad overhaul likely to have to take place on a budget, potentially funded by existing player sales.

“It is not Football Manager where you think ‘It’s not going too well, I’ll delete and reset’,” added Maguire.

“You have costs in terms of the infrastructure, legacy costs in terms of player recruitment.

“There won’t be a lot of money to buy players but you still have the issue of wages at 90 per cent of turnover and this overhang of the Premier League charges.

“We don’t know how long that will take to conclude – and the worst-case scenario is a points deduction.

“Football is a talent game and the talent follows the money. It could be you do a Brentford or a Brighton and you succeed at a point in the market but there is no evidence to suggest Everton are capable of doing that.

“How do you get around that? You pay them more money – and that extra money doesn’t exist.”

On the horizon is the new 53,000-capacity stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock but that, too, will be no panacea for finances.

“It will start to kick in for 2024, but it is not going to move the dial a huge amount,” said Maguire.

“And Everton have a fanbase who are traditional supporters from Liverpool so monetising the corporate element may be more difficult.”

Sean Dyche is nothing if not realistic and within minutes of achieving his sole aim of saving Everton from relegation he delivered his verdict on the state of the club – and it will have made for difficult listening for his bosses.

The 51-year-old has built a career on plain speaking and pragmatism but until another season in the top flight – the club’s 70th in succession – was secured he had to keep his own counsel, at least in public, on the state of affairs he inherited from predecessor Frank Lampard.

But in the immediate aftermath of the 1-0 win over Bournemouth which safeguarded the Toffees’ future, Dyche laid bare the extent of the problems he feels have riddled the club and outlined what needs to be done to change.

Whether owner Farhad Moshiri, whose £600 million-plus spend on players in just over seven years has almost hastened rather than failed to prevent back-to-back relegation scraps, will listen remains to be seen.

But Dyche knows throwing money at the problem is not the answer, especially as it has now effectively run out with the club making losses of over £430m over four years and facing sanctions next season for breaching profit and sustainability rules.

“The fans have been amazing, they want the club to be in the top end of the market but the club currently is not at the top end of the market,” he said.

“We need solid thinking going forwards. We are not ready to be up there yet, that is quite evident.

“It is going to be building and progress and I need the Evertonians to understand that. I’ll be very surprised if they (the club’s board) say ‘Here’s another war chest, sign who you like’.

“It’s not going to happen so we have to be wise, recruit wisely and recruit players who, if possible, understand this club.

“They have to be able to handle what it is to be part of Everton. I’m learning that all the time and we have to be able to get that heartbeat and also talent as well.

“I’ve tried to be realistic since I’ve been here but the problem with realism is not many people want it because it sounds boring.

“But at the end of the day it is time for that. There was a time when this club went from ‘Let’s just do everything’ but there is a time for realism, that’s what I’ve learned.”

Dyche is already starting to sound like his old self during his decade-long stay at Burnley before his sacking last season in a relegation scrap from which they failed to escape.

He worked miracles on a small budget at Turf Moor, making the club a Premier League regular against the odds, and believes he can turn things around at Goodison Park.

But he needs the people in charge – Moshiri, chairman Bill Kenwright and chief executive Denise Barrett-Baxendale – to accept his version of what the future should look like and abandon lofty but unrealistic ambitions fuelled by influential agents, the owner’s inexperience and a lack of joined-up thinking on a club ethos and recruitment strategy.

This is a club which are on their eighth permanent manager and third director of football since the billionaire took over in 2016.

Dyche, who admitted managing up was as much a part of his job as leading those below him, said on him being the driving force: “Someone has got to. That’s usually the manager.

“Now at least I can bring some of it to the fore and I can say ‘OK, I’ve given you the first step and it’s a big step’ but I need a bit of reality from fans that they don’t think next season we win the first 10 on the trot.

“That’s highly unlikely from a club which has been edging downwards.

“There’s that beautiful stadium down the road (at Bramley-Moore Dock) which someone has to pay for.

“There has to be a reality (about money) because we are trying to build a stadium, they are doing things in the community, and you have to get a team to win.”

On transfers, he added: “Fans want development but really they want first-team footballers who can play and win and that usually implies money.

“But we know about the financial stuff, that has to be realigned, so not yet, I don’t know but I will know at some point.

“Evertonians remember when they had an ‘earthy’ team, a team that gave everything – they are good things even in modern times. Let’s applaud it.

“And of course we want to play good, attacking, pleasing football that can win games. Not easy.”

Former Everton captain Alan Stubbs says he was left feeling both relief and anger after the club secured Premier League survival on Sunday and has called for “major changes from boardroom level down.”

The final day of the season saw the Toffees claim the victory they needed for safety as Abdoulaye Doucoure’s stunning 57th-minute strike sealed a 1-0 win over Bournemouth and Leicester and Leeds were relegated.

Stubbs told BBC Radio 5 Live: “There are two (feelings) – one is relief and the other is anger.

“It was a horrible 90 minutes as an Everton fan, watching that and the emotions you were going through. The players did really well – to play under that pressure, it’s not easy and the manager (Sean Dyche) deserves a lot of credit as well.

“But now…Everton need to make some major, major changes from boardroom level down. It’s got to happen.”

Regarding Everton owner Farhad Moshiri, Stubbs added: “I have to applaud him in terms of he’s invested in the club, but he’s been really poorly advised by people on the board and probably people he’s trusted in as well, and he has to take a step aside because he’s not a football person so he shouldn’t be getting involved in any football decisions.

“That’s got to be left to people and trust them to do the job, and if he doesn’t trust them they shouldn’t be there in the first place.

“(Chairman) Bill Kenwright, (chief executive) Denise Barrett-Baxendale, thanks very much but it’s time to go because you’ve failed this football club, on and off the pitch, and the owner has to make those decisions, because if he doesn’t, the animosity among the fanbase… they’ve had enough.

“This is where everyone’s waiting with bated breath, to see what the next steps are. I’d be surprised if there’s nothing coming from Everton today in terms of resignations. Everton is broken, and it can be fixed but there has to be major changes for that to happen.”

Leicester went down despite concluding their campaign with a 2-1 home win over West Ham.

Former Foxes skipper Steve Walsh told Sky Sports it had been a “sad day”, adding: “It really hurts, it does.

“The alarm bells were ringing after 10 games, we were in a bit of trouble, so you sensed something could happen, but you never believed it would because of the quality that was in the squad.

“These owners have won so much. Hopefully we can bounce straight back, but there’s a lot of hard work behind the scenes that has to be done and the club know that.”

Gary Lineker has congratulated Everton after his former club survived in the Premier League at the expense of his boyhood team Leicester.

The two clubs had been in jeopardy heading into the final round of fixtures on Sunday but ultimately Everton’s 1-0 victory over Bournemouth ensured they avoided the drop.

At one stage it looked as though it could be the Foxes who stayed up as they took an early lead against West Ham but their eventual 2-1 win was rendered academic by Everton’s result.

The Toffees ended the season in 17th place, two points ahead of Leicester, while Leeds were also relegated after a 4-1 loss to Tottenham.

Former England striker Lineker, who began his career at Leicester before spending a season at Everton in the mid-1980s, tweeted: “Absolutely gutted, but glad it’s Everton. Have a lot of love for that great football club. Congratulations.”

Leicester’s relegation comes seven years after they were crowned Premier League champions and just two years after they won the FA Cup.

Lineker added: “A word on Leicester. If eight years ago, you’d have given me the option of winning the Premier League and the FA Cup and then get relegated, I’d have snapped your hand off. Also I’d have told you not to be so utterly ridiculous.”

It has been a dismal season for Leicester and TV pundit Roy Keane was not sure how quickly they could recover.

The former Manchester United midfielder said on Sky Sports: “They didn’t seem to get any momentum into the season from a bad start. It’s no surprise to see them where they are.

“Clubs can bounce back but it isn’t easy. I think it is a rebuilding job at Leicester.”

Leeds’ three-year stint in the Premier League ended in a whimper as they were thrashed by Spurs at Elland Road.

The club had brought in Sam Allardyce in a last-ditch attempt to escape relegation with four games remaining but the former England boss was unable to engineer a recovery.

The team collected just one point from Allardyce’s games and finished in 19th position, five points behind Everton.

Keane was scathing of their performances.

He said: “They’ve looked weak over the last month or two, even with Sam coming in.

“They were fighting for their lives today and conceded four goals at home. That’s nowhere near good enough.

“Sam obviously came in too late. Defensively they look so weak. Some of the goals – it’s almost pub team defending.

“Not strong enough mentally, that desire – nowhere near good enough.”

Chelsea, meanwhile, aimed a parting shot at Leeds on social media.

Rivalry between those two clubs dates back to some hard-fought clashes in the 1960s and 70s.

In August, Leeds trolled Chelsea on Twitter during their 3-0 victory over the London club.

In that game, Chelsea tweeted the Blues were “starting to assert ourselves” just moments before Leeds opened the scoring and quickly followed with a second goal.

“Life comes at you fast!” Leeds tweeted in reply.

Now, nine months later, Chelsea have got their own back.

“It certainly does,” they tweeted.

Everton manager Sean Dyche will allow his players to briefly enjoy their escape from relegation but he has already laid down the law that major changes are needed at the club.

Abdoulaye Doucoure’s 57th-minute thunderbolt gave the Toffees a 1-0 win over Bournemouth and the victory which ensured they stayed up and extended their stay in the top flight to 70 successive seasons.

For the second consecutive season there was a pitch invasion at the final whistle – although nowhere near as many numbers joined in as 12 months ago when safety was secured with a game to spare.

There was a feeling inside the club that they did not want to be seen to be celebrating avoiding failure and that probably came from Dyche himself.

“It’s a horrible day for all concerned, there is no joy in it for me other than getting the job done,” said the former Burnley boss, who only took over in late January.

“I came in here to change a mentality and I think there have been signs of that. There is still more to go.

“I said to the the players ‘We shouldn’t be here. Enjoy this today and you’ve earned it but at the end of the day it has got to change’.

“There is no point in sitting on it and saying ‘Look how great we are’ because it is not like that.

“There is loads to change here and a lot of work to be done but it was a big step to secure it.”

Dyche was able to speak from a greater position of strength after avoiding what would have been only the club’s third relegation in their 145-year history.

That gave him the confidence to dish out some home truths in his post-match press conference which he had been reticent to do so previously for fear of creating more instability and detracting from the task in hand.

“Don’t think I thought this was an easy fix because it is not, far from it,” he added.

“It’s a big club, make no mistake. Big history, big club, but we are not performing like a big club. We have to find a way of changing that. This is two seasons now.

“I’ve played my little part in two seasons of this but there is a massive amount of change to build to a new dawn, a new future, a bigger future if you like.”

That future is likely to see him make significant changes to a totally unbalanced squad which somehow avoided relegation despite playing the whole season with their main striker – Dominic Calvert-Lewin – featuring in less than half of it and his back-up – Neal Maupay – managing just one goal (in September) in 29 appearances.

Asked if he would have to sell players, with the club having made more than £430m of losses in the last four years, Dyche added: “There’s a chance. I’ll find out about that.

“There’s not been any depth, there have been peripheral talks based on ifs, buts and maybes but that will come over the coming weeks when we find out the truth of what we have got, what we can do, what we can’t do.

“We had to get this (safety) sorted out, we’ve got it over the line. It was absolutely the key focus. Now it is time to immediately re-focus on the rest of it.”

Bournemouth boss Gary O’Neil was disappointed not to have got something from the game.

“I thought we were the better side and had control for the most part but there is still a lot to progress on,” he said.

“We knew we were coming into a tough atmosphere against a direct team and I thought the lads stood up to it well. We maybe didn’t create enough.

“We maybe got a little too desperate towards the end but there was a lot there I liked. It’s just a shame we didn’t score, I always thought we would get one.”

Abdoulaye Doucoure’s goal saw Everton stave off the threat of relegation on the final day of the Premier League season as Leicester and Leeds suffered the drop.

With the title and top four already sewn up, all eyes had been on the battle at the bottom and the fight for European places.

Here, the PA news agency looks at five things from the final day of the season.

Dyche delivers for Everton

Sean Dyche was perhaps not a fashionable appointment when Everton turned to him after Frank Lampard’s exit, but he has done enough – just enough – to keep the Toffees in the top flight after Sunday’s 1-0 win over Bournemouth. One of Dyche’s biggest decisions was to restore Abdoulaye Doucoure to his starting line-up, and it was the Mali midfielder who got the all-important goal at Goodison Park. Dyche’s experience in battling at the bottom helped the club keep their heads amid the pressure. Given their financial issues off the pitch, survival seems seismic for Everton. A big summer awaits as fans continue to call for change at board level, and a Premier League investigation into potential breaches of profit and sustainability rules looms. But solving those issues should at least be a little easier as a Premier League club.

Reality bites for Leicester and Leeds

As Everton breathed a sigh of relief, Leicester and Leeds had the bitter taste of relegation on the final day. For Leicester, the drop into the Championship comes only seven years after their magical title-winning season, the scale of the decline in the last 12 months startling. Their failure to replace Kasper Schmeichel and Wesley Fofana already seemed a major oversight even before injuries hit, and the board must take responsibility for their failure to invest in the squad. With several players out of contract this summer, a major rebuild is in prospect. Leeds also need a reset. They only narrowly avoided the drop last season, but have never found an identity since the exit of Marcelo Bielsa more than a year ago.

Passports out for Villa

In a season when there has been a record number of managerial sackings with 10 clubs making a change, three of them more than one, the most dramatic impact has been the one made by Unai Emery at Aston Villa. The Villans took only nine points from 11 games under Steven Gerrard, but Sunday’s 2-1 win over Brighton secures seventh place and European football for the first time in 13 years. They have gone from a side that were facing a relegation battle to one who have finished 17 points better off than their previous campaign. Given the Spaniard’s proud record in Europe – he is a four-time winner of the Europa League – perhaps they should plan for a long run in the Europa Conference League.

Over and out from Xhaka?

Granit Xhaka has had his troubles at Arsenal, having once been booed off the pitch amid a sometimes fractious relationship with the club and the fans, but he was serenaded on Sunday. The 30-year-old has a year left on his contract and has been strongly linked with a move to Germany as Arsenal plan midfield upgrades. Xhaka scored twice in Sunday’s 5-0 rout of Wolves, taking him to 10 goals in a season in which Arsenal gave fans real belief they could challenge for the title. If this was the end, Arsenal will feel very different about seeing him go than they once might have.

Big questions for Spurs

Tottenham enjoyed a 4-1 win over Leeds on the final day but it was not enough to get them into Europe as they missed out on qualification for the first time since 2008-09. In a summer in which Daniel Levy must again find a new permanent manager, that is a major blow. Harry Kane scored twice at Elland Road, but they could prove his final goals for the club as he enters the final year of his contract, surely considering his options given his desire to be challenging for silverware. Kane has once again reached 30 goals but he has done it in a malfunctioning side, and the England captain will know he is worthy of better. Whether or not Tottenham can again convince him they are capable of offering it to him remains to be seen.

Abdoulaye Doucoure scored the most important goal of his career and possibly Everton’s history to save the side from relegation with a 1-0 win over Bournemouth.

His powerful 20-yard strike, a bolt from the blue, was enough to extend the club’s top-flight stay to a 70th successive season but for long periods that proud record appeared in doubt.

But Doucoure’s 10th goal for the club capped a remarkable turnaround in four months for the Mali international who was training on his own in January after a fall-out with former manager Frank Lampard.

Five days after having his contract extended by 12 months – and with his side just over half-an-hour from heading into the Sky Bet Championship – he delivered when it mattered most and in a way the club can never adequately repay him for.

But it still required a clearance from Conor Coady under his own crossbar and a good save deep into 10 minutes of added time from Jordan Pickford to keep them safe after it initially looked like the Cherries’ second-choice goalkeeper Mark Travers would play a key role in sending the Toffees down.

The home side had started the most significant day in their 145-year history two points outside the drop zone but with Leicester winning at home to West Ham they were heading for only their third relegation and first since 1951.

Then, their top-flight exile lasted three years and the nightmare scenario was that there had been little to suggest over the last couple of seasons another absence would have been any shorter.

Everton had been in the last-day, last-chance saloon twice before in 1994 and 1998 but on both of those occasions their fate was not in their own hands.

In 1994 they beat Wimbledon 3-2 – coming back from 2-0 down – with rivals Ipswich, Sheffield United and Southampton faring worse and four years later they bettered Bolton’s result at Chelsea to survive.

But the stakes seemed much higher on this occasion, and with a new 52,000-capacity stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock due to open for the 2024-25 season this was potentially the last Premier League game at Goodison Park.

However, they are not out of trouble as the club have posted losses in excess of £430million over the last four years and have an outstanding Premier League charge for breaching profit and sustainability rules.

But for now survival, and the relief that brings, is enough.

With no fit full-backs, Sean Dyche was forced to start for the first time in his tenure with a back three, which at least utilised recognised centre-halves in Yerry Mina, Coady and James Tarkowski.

The men outside of them, however, were midfielder James Garner and winger Dwight McNeil and while the former coped relatively well on the left flank, McNeil, more accustomed to running forward, struggled to cope with David Brooks going the other way.

Up front, winger Demarai Gray found it tough adapting to the central role as, unable to hold up the ball, he resorted to trying to win cheap free-kicks but it was a ploy referee Stuart Atwell regularly saw through.

Gray, who had an early rising drive just over, also found being a striker tough in terms of his positioning as when Doucoure drilled a cross into the six-yard area, he was 10 yards too deep waiting for a cutback on the edge of the box.

Travers, only in the side due to Neto’s absence due to personal reasons, then came to the fore as he tipped over Idrissa Gana Gueye’s powerful strike, parried another long-ranger from the Frenchman and then clawed away Garner’s looping shot in first-half added time.

In recent home games around the half-hour mark, Everton’s initial fire had burned out and opponents claimed the upper hand but on this occasion it was bad news from the King Power Stadium which took some of the wind out of their sails.

Bournemouth looked like they were just biding their time and Marcos Senesi stabbed wide from a corner and Mina dived in to deny Dominic Solanke after Brooks had robbed Tarkowski.

Gray’s weak close-range header being scooped away by Travers six minutes into the second half only increased the sense it was not going to be Everton’s day until Doucoure smashed home a drive after a weak header dropped to him.

Crucial interventions from on-loan Wolves and former Liverpool defender Coady and then Pickford from substitute Matias Vina saw them scrape home and sparked the inevitable pitch invasion after relegation was avoided for the second successive season.

Everton manager Sean Dyche has tried to keep things consistent this week as the club head into arguably the biggest game in their history.

The Toffees need to match the results of Leicester and Leeds, who are both inside the relegation zone, in order to extend their stay in the top flight to a 70th season.

There have been no rousing speeches or trying to artificially boost player morale ahead of the visit of Bournemouth as Dyche does not believe that would not make as much difference as reinforcing the same messages he has been giving since taking over from Frank Lampard in late January.

“I think all games are important but it stands to reason with it being the last game and what’s on it that of course it is a massive game,” he said.

“A lot of these players were here last season in a similar position so I think they are aware of it. It comes down to a big performance on Sunday.

“But I don’t have to emphasise that: I know it, the players know it, the fans know it, so we go into it open-minded.

“I don’t think positivity can win you football matches, performances win you matches.

“Inner confidence is a different thing but I’ve always been confident with the group, we go into every game confident so that doesn’t change.

“I think I have a good measure of what it is to be a manager and a player and the feeling in the group is consistent from myself and the staff, that’s all I try to bring.

“The consistencies I talk about are in performance, the mentality to perform, and then clarity. Consistent level of behaviours on and off the pitch I think pays you back.

“There will be some key pointers about the team and the way we perform of course but we will stick to the level of performance we expect from the players and the level we expect in training.”

Everton have a two-point cushion over 18th-placed Leicester but an inferior goal difference so only a win will guarantee safety, although as long as the Foxes and Leeds do not get a better result then the Toffees will be safe.

Home advantage will be key for all three teams but the pressure on the game is huge and, even if backed by a raucous Goodison Park, Dyche knows he will have to lean on senior players despite a large number of holes in his squad due to injuries, with striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin and defenders Nathan Patterson and Ben Godfrey all added to the unavailable list.

“We have worked hard to get in this position; two points in front doesn’t sound a lot but it is at this stage of the seaosn – but only if we capitalise on it,” added Dyche.

“With the senior players it is more about their experience.

“It’s unlikely unless you really have to you put a young player into a situation like that – we’re not in a position quite where we have to – but it’s fair to think a couple of the young lads will be involved in the squad.”

The effect of relegation on a club which has posted cumulative losses of over £430million over the last four seasons – and with a new stadium more than half-built – is almost unthinkable for a club which has enjoyed such a long spell in England’s top division.

But the repercussions of not avoiding the drop is not something Dyche is thinking about just yet.

“I’m not worried about that at the moment, trust me the game will be the focus,” he said.

Everton manager Sean Dyche insists he has no problem with the relegation-threatened club potentially already looking for his replacement.

The former Burnley boss arrived late in January as Frank Lampard’s replacement with the challenge of avoiding the drop.

Things have not gone entirely to plan with the Toffees just two points above the relegation zone, although their fate remains in their own hands as they seek to extend their stay in the top flight into a 70th season by matching the results of Leeds and Leicester.

And reports this week suggested Everton were already thinking about what comes next.

“It’s fair to say ‘interesting’ reports, but I don’t know where they come from,” said Dyche.

“At the end of the day, good businesses should be succession planning. I’ve got no problem with that, even if that were true.”

Everton go into their relegation-decider at home to Bournemouth without striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin or defenders Nathan Patterson and Ben Godfrey.

“They won’t be fit. We haven’t had Dom for two-thirds of my time here. We have still won games, still got points on the board and performed,” he said.

“Patto has come into the side more latterly and performed well. We lose him as well.”

Dyche holds out some hope Vitalli Mykolenko – his only remaining full-back on either flank – could return after a two-match absence.

“He’s a bit better so we will see how he reacts tomorrow to training today,” Dyche added.

Dyche was already without Seamus Coleman, Ruben Vinagre, Tom Davies and Andros Townsend so more injuries just increase the pressure in an already-tough atmosphere on Sunday.

“I think it is part of being a professional footballer. You have to use the feeling in the stadium to your advantage and I think we have a decent experience level for the ups and downs of football to understand that,” added the manager.

“We want players to focus on the game, which is not as easy as it sounds, but focus on the game and the idea and don’t worry about the noise. That’s the clear intention.”

Everton and England midfielder Izzy Christiansen has announced she will retire from football after the Toffees’ season finale against former club Manchester City on Saturday.

The 31-year-old started her senior career with Everton in 2008 and went on to represent Birmingham, Manchester City and Lyon before returning to Merseyside three years ago.

Christiansen won the Women’s Super League and FA Cup during her time at City, plus the Continental Cup twice, while at Lyon she was part of the side that claimed Champions League glory in 2018/19.

The highlight of her international career was being involved in the SheBelieves Cup triumph in 2019 and she finishes with 31 caps for England, scoring six times.

She wrote on Twitter on Thursday morning: “I have something I would like to share with you…I am announcing my retirement from international and club football at the end of the season.

“To all of the football clubs that have trusted me; Everton, Birmingham City, Manchester City, Olympique Lyonnais and finally here again, Everton; Thank you. To representing my country, there’s no greater honour. Thank you.

“What I have achieved is beyond my wildest dreams and being able to choose this ending is something very special. As a young girl kicking a ball around the school field, I had no idea my future would look like this. Dream big.

“Manchester City Academy stadium on Saturday couldn’t really be a better ending. In my home city, on some beautiful turf where I played some of my best football. I’m very excited to reveal what’s next in due course.”

Everton have activated their option to extend the contract of midfielder Abdoulaye Doucoure by 12 months.

It represents quite a turnaround in four months for the Mali international who, in the latter days of Frank Lampard’s reign, was training away from the first-team squad after a disagreement with the then Toffees boss.

Having been brought back into the fold when Sean Dyche was appointed in late January, the 30-year-old has scored four goals – ending a drought dating back to September 2021 – in his last nine games, including two in the crucial 5-1 win at Brighton earlier this month.

“Everton can confirm the club has activated the option to extend Abdoulaye Doucoure’s contract until the end of June 2024,” read a club statement.

The fight for Premier League survival reaches its climax on Sunday with three clubs still scrapping for their top-flight lives.

Two of Everton, Leicester and Leeds will join already-relegated Southampton in the Sky Bet Championship next season on what is set to be a dramatic final day of the campaign.

Here, the PA news agency takes a look at what each club needs to happen if they are to avoid the drop.

Everton

Opposition: Bournemouth (h)

Position: 17th

Points: 33

Goal difference: -24

The equation is simple for the Toffees: win and their fears are over regardless of what happens elsewhere. Anything less could prove fatal.

A draw would open the door for Leicester to leapfrog them on goal difference with a win, while Leeds could also overhaul them on goals scored with victory by three or more.

However, Everton would be safe even in defeat if both the Foxes and Leeds failed to win.

Leicester

Opposition: West Ham (h)

Position: 18th

Points: 31

Goal difference: -18

Victory is the only option for Dean Smith’s men and even then, it might not prove enough.

Leicester also need Everton not to win – defeat for the Toffees would keep them up by a point, while a draw at Goodison would edge City to safety on goal difference.

Leeds

Opposition: Tottenham (h)

Position: 19th

Points: 31

Goal difference: -27

Like the Foxes, Leeds must win and even then, they would have to keep their fingers crossed that both Everton and Leicester did not.

In the event that Everton drew, they would need to make up three clear goals to leapfrog them.

At the same time, Sam Allardyce’s men would have to achieve an improbable goal swing – they head into the weekend nine worse off – to edge past Leicester if they managed to beat West Ham.

Leicester boss Dean Smith believes his side have piled the pressure onto Everton after seeing his team set up a dramatic final day of the Premier League season with a battling draw at high-flying Newcastle.

The 2016 champions will head into Sunday’s home clash with West Ham knowing even victory might not prove enough to keep them in the top-flight, but having piled the pressure on rivals Everton and Leeds.

If the Toffees win at home to Bournemouth, both City and Sam Allardyce’s side, who host Tottenham, will be relegated regardless of their results.

But a draw at Goodison Park coupled with a Leicester win would see the Foxes survive by virtue of goal difference and Smith believes they have put the heat on Everton.

“I think we have because if they draw and we win, we stay up. I did say it might be down to goal difference,” Smith said.

“But we’ve got a tough game against West Ham, who have just qualified for a European final and have got a very good manager who’s a friend of mine, David Moyes, who I have got a lot of respect for.

“He’ll make it, certainly, a really tough game for us. We hope now that we can get to the King Power and if fortunes go our way…

“We have taken it to the last game, we’ve made Everton have to win if we win ourselves.”

The need to win – something City have done on only eight occasions to date in the league this season – means there is no margin for error on Sunday with two points currently separating them from the final safe spot in the table.

However, Smith will not adopt a gung-ho approach to the task.

“No, because if you chuck everything, they have got good enough players – they’ve just qualified for a European final – that they could open some doors against us, and we can’t allow that,” Smith added.

“We have to make sure that we play a balanced performance to make sure we don’t give big chances away, but go and create some.”

It was a very different balance on Tyneside, where Smith admitted he had set up simply to avoid defeat by a team chasing and ultimately securing Champions League qualification, although the visitors might have emerged with three priceless points had Nick Pope not made his only save of the game to keep out Timothy Castagne’s stoppage-time volley.

“Have I gambled with Leicester’s future? No. I am a bit of a risk-taker, but that wasn’t a gamble,” Smith said when asked about his approach.

“If I came here and went at Newcastle, we could have been beaten four or five. It wasn’t a gamble.

“We kept a clean sheet, which was what we needed to do. We need to score, which we know we’ve got our problems with.”

Everton have entered an exclusivity agreement with American firm MSP Sports Capital as they look to secure an injection of new investment, the PA news agency understands.

It is understood that, while a deal over funding is yet to be concluded, talks between New York-based MSP and the Toffees – who had also been speaking to 777 Partners – are progressing well.

Seventeenth in the table after the weekend’s action, Everton play Bournemouth at Goodison Park next Sunday as the battle for Premier League survival goes down to the final game of the season for Sean Dyche’s men.

The Merseyside outfit’s new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock is currently under construction at a cost of £760million.

Figures from MSP were present at Goodison when Everton lost 2-1 to Southampton in January.

MSP and 777 Partners, another American company, were then understood to be parties being spoken to after Everton owner Farhad Moshiri in February said he was in talks with “top investors of real quality to bridge a gap on the stadium”.

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