Reports surfacing from Portugal over the past day believe that Everton are continuing to show firm interest in signing Benfica striker Raul Jimenez before the transfer window shuts at 11:00pm tonight.
A Bola claim that Ronald Koeman – who is actively seeking another goal-scorer to add to his ranks before September – is contemplating whether to make a last-gasp attempt to bring him to Everton.
Yet the clock is ticking and the transfer deadline is looming, and the report suggests that the Mexican international could snub Everton’s interest in favour of a big-money move to China in the future.
What would Jimenez bring to Merseyside?
It was always going to be a likely story that Romelu Lukaku’s exit left a gaping hole at the top of the Everton team, and boss Ronald Koeman looks set on having a plethora of options to use this season.
The arrivals of Wayne Rooney and Sandro Ramirez have bolstered attacking options already, with Dominic Calvert-Lewin also developing well, but there is still a need for another piece of the jigsaw.
Rooney won’t get 30-goals-a-season – despite getting off to a good start – whilst both Ramirez and Calvert-Lewin are quick strikers that play off the shoulder of the last defender; this is all well and good but, in Lukaku’s absence, they need a strong, powerful player that can create his own chances.
And in Raul Jimenez they could find exactly that, with the 26-year-old’s 6ft 3in frame lending him extremely well both in the air and in getting himself into tough and physical battles with defenders.
He’s a mobile forward that is comfortable operating across the front-line, confident enough in his ability to take players on and draw them into a challenge, and he can add a new dynamic in attack.
Despite being on the precipice of the Benfica first-team last season he still managed seven goals in 18 appearances, showing he has a knack for finding the net, and the fact that 62% of his shots found their way on target – 16 from his 26 attempts – shows that he’d bring the final product to Everton.
With his role at Benfica firmly as a substitute – coming on late in their opening three games of the new Primeira Liga season – the lure of first-team football at Goodison Park may be hard to say no to.
It is understood that the 26-year-old is currently on international duty with Mexico but, should Koeman continue his interest and look to force a late deal, his residence in South America shouldn’t be a problem.