Everton midfielder Damaris Egurrola has completed a six-figure transfer to European champions Lyon.
Spain international Egurrola joined Everton back in September following the expiry of her contract with Athletic Bilbao.
Everton Women Sporting and Commercial Director, Sarvar Ismailov, conceded the Club could not deny Egurrola the opportunity to sign for the continent’s pre-eminent team.
French club Lyon have exerted a sustained stranglehold over European football and won the past five editions of the Champions League.
“It is important we make it clear that the only reason we are letting Damaris go is because we want her to fulfil her dream,” Ismailov told evertonfc.com.
“We had to look at the situation from a player’s perspective: when Lyon call you, you don’t turn it down.
“Sanctioning the transfer wasn’t financially driven on our part. We turned down three previous offers from Lyon but, ultimately, I couldn’t take that opportunity away from Damaris and her family.
“Lyon must have seen something special in her and I believe we managed to get the right deal to compensate for the loss of an excellent player.”
The accomplished Egurrola played in Everton’s FA Cup final defeat by Manchester City in November.
She helped Wille Kirk’s team to a bright start in the Women’s Super League, with Everton sitting fifth ahead of a visit from Bristol City on Sunday.
“The day I saw footage of Damaris back in summer I fell in love with her game and, to be honest, signed her that same evening, without thinking twice,” continued Ismailov.
“I always tell her she is [Manchester City midfielder] Rodri in the women’s game.
“It’s an amazing story, to be honest, six months ago she was without a club and now she is signing for Lyon.
“We wish Damaris all the very best for her future.”