Jordan Pickford could become the third most expensive goalkeeper in history after Everton agreed a £30m deal for the Sunderland player - but the transfer is worth the money, says England great Peter Shilton.
The deal for 23-year-old Pickford will make him the most expensive British keeper and, if the fee does rise to £30m, put him behind only Juventus legend Gianluigi Buffon and Manchester City's new signing Ederson globally.
"This sort of money should be spent on goalkeepers," Shilton, England's record appearance holder, told Eyes On Events Radio 5 live.
"For someone like Jordan, who is young and has great potential, it does not seem a great fee."
Shilton was the world's most expensive keeper when he joined Stoke City from Leicester City for £325,000 in 1974.
The 67-year-old added: "In the big scheme of things it is not a lot of money, considering how important the goalkeeping position is.
"It is second to a striker who scores 20 goals a season. You cannot have a really good side without a good goalkeeper."
Everton's offer for Pickford is an initial £22m transfer fee with £8m of potential add-ons and would be a five-year deal, Eyes On Events Radio 5 live chief football reporter Ian Dennis said.
A winner who loves the pressure - Grayson
Pickford moved up through the youth ranks at Sunderland and signed his first professional contract in 2011.
He went on loan six times before he was recalled from a spell at Preston to make his Black Cats' senior debut in the FA Cup on 9 January 2016 and his Premier League debut followed a week later.
The England Under-21 international began last season as understudy to Vito Mannone, but an injury to the Italian allowed him to establish himself as Sunderland's number one.
He was nominated for the PFA Young Player of the Year award and received a first call-up to the England senior squad last season, but is yet to make his debut.
Preston manager Simon Grayson, who had Pickford at Deepdale for six months, says the player will flourish at Everton if the deal goes through.
"The move will inspire him," Grayson told Eyes On Events Sport. "The lad loves the attention - he will thrive on that without being big time.
"He is vocal and he is a winner. He loves the pressure of being the best he can. He will be looking at the England situation at the moment and thinking the next port of call is to be England's number one."
Grayson added: "He has got all the ingredients but he would admit he still has to work on certain things. He is still young and there is room to develop. He is a willing learner and listener, he wants to stay out and be involved in training sessions.
"When the top clubs are looking for players and good keepers, they are looking for shot stoppers but also keepers with exceptional feet - and we said that he could have played outfield with the quality of his feet."
Toffees' new number one?
|Pickford v Everton's current keepers (2016-17 Premier League stats)|
|Jordan Pickford||Joel Robles||Maarten Stekelenburg|
|Saves per game||4.7||2.7||2.2|
|Clean Sheet %||13.8||50||15.8|
|Goals Conceded per game||1.7||1||1.3|
|Penalty Goals Conceded||2||2||1|
Pickford v the best of the Premier League
Pickford compares favourably with other Premier League keepers after his first full season, but he faces a battle to establish himself in England's senior squad.
Going by Gareth Southgate's latest squad to face Scotland and France, there are four keepers between Pickford and the number one jersey as it stands: Manchester City's Joe Hart, Tom Heaton of Burnley, Southampton's Fraser Forster and Stoke City's Jack Butland.
Third most expensive of all-time?
Buffon's move from Parma to Juventus in 2001 was reported to be worth 53m euros, or £32.6m at the time, while at current exchange rates, Ederson's 40m euros transfer from Benfica to Manchester City last week is equivalent to £35m, which is a world record in sterling, but not euros.
Pickford's deal would also mean he will cost more than the £18m Manchester United paid Atletico Madrid for David de Gea in 2011 and the £19m transfer for Manuel Neuer from Schalke to Bayern Munich in the same year.