Everton: Ajax striker rumours intensify; Italian linked; Koeman talks Depay and January
Following Everton’s stalemate with Premier League strugglers Swansea City at Goodison Park over the weekend, manager Ronald Koeman has found himself under increasing pressure to bolster his forward line in January in order to inject that little extra quality required in attack to help break down stubborn opposition and kill off matches, their lack of ability to do so proving detrimental in certain fixtures so far this season. There may be exciting news to come for Everton fans though, as all the news emerging from the blue half of Merseyside suggest that Koeman is preparing to address the problem.
Earlier this month, the Liverpool Echo‘s Phil Kirkbride broke the news that the Toffees were scouting Ajax youngster Kasper Dolberg. The 19-year-old Danish striker, signed by the Dutch giants from Silkeborg in the youngster’s homeland, has netted 11 times in 22 games for Ajax and recently won his first international cap in Denmark’s clash with Kazakhstan.
Today, rumours that the club will make a January approach for the young striker have intensified, with a report in the Daily Mirror claiming the club have a strong interest in the Dane, particularly so after he netted an 18-minute hat-trick in the Eredivisie against NEC Nijmegen over the weekend.
The 19-year-old recently put pen to paper on a contract extension with the Dutch giants however, which would keep him in Amsterdam until 2021. That in turn means that any transfer for the youngster could force Everton to shell out up to £20million, but with Dolberg developing rapidly, already having drawn comparisons to fellow Scandinavian Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Koeman could see a move for the forward as a worthy investment.
The likelihood is that the Everton boss sees the Dane as an ideal long-term replacement for Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku, whose future at Goodison Park remains uncertain.
Elsewhere, rumours have resurfaced regarding one of Everton’s failed summer transfer targets, Napoli striker Manolo Gabbiadini. The Italian looked set for move to Goodison over the summer, only to see the move hijacked when Gonzalo Higuain was offloaded to Juventus and the Naples club subsequently pulled the plug on the deal.
The Italian has had a tough time of it in Serie A this season however, netting just twice in 12 league appearances, and according to Calcio Mercato via the Liverpool Echo, Napoli may be prepared to allow the 24-year-old to leave the Stadio San Paolo on loan in order to rack up more minutes of game time, with his opportunities in Serie A limited. This is where the Toffees come in, and Koeman may be tempted to force a loan move for the forward to add further firepower to his frontline.
The Italian outlet reportedly rates Everton as one of the two most likely destinations for Gabbiadini, alongside Bundesliga outfit VFL Wolfsburg.
There were also some interesting comments for journalists and Everton fans to digest following the club’s most recent press conference, in which Ronald Koeman was quizzed not only on Everton’s ambitions in the transfer window but also the club’s reported interest in Koeman’s compatriot, Manchester United winger Memphis Depay.
Speaking on the Depay speculation when quizzed by journalists, Koeman replied:
“The player is a Manchester United player. If there is any possibility (of a transfer) then of course I am interested, because I was already interested (in signing Depay) when I was manager at Southampton.”
“That interest from two years ago has not changed”.
Moving away from Depay, Koeman then spoke more broadly about Everton’s proposed transfer business. He remained characteristically candid, but there is still plenty to take from his comments for Everton fans to get excited about:
“As for the rest, we need to wait. We need to prepare ourselves and of course we will do some business in January”.
Featured Image: All Rights Reserved by Serg Hoholok.
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