Everton round-up: Striker search to continue; odds slashed on German arriving; Barkley bid rejected
It is common knowledge that Ronald Koeman has been seeking a target-man striker to add to his forward line ever since the departure of Romelu Lukaku. With time running out fast and transfer deadline day upon us, the Toffees have been linked with several targets for whom they may make a late approach, the most surprising of these being a loan move for Watford’s Stefano Okaka.
According to the Mirror, Koeman has been an admirer of the forward ever since he netted twice for the Hornets against his Everton side last season, and with the Italian falling down the pecking order at Vicarage Road behind new arrivals Andre Gray and Richarlison, the Merseysiders may be weighing up bringing the powerful striker to Goodison.
He already has one goal to his name after being on target in Watford’s opening game against Everton’s city rivals Liverpool, but hasn’t featured for Andre Silva’s side since.
Meanwhile, Koeman’s hunt for a striker may have been given a boost after bookmakers slashed the odds on RB Leipzig attacker Timo Werner heading to Goodison, as reported by the Liverpool Echo.
Werner rose to prominence as he netted 21 goals in Lepizig’s debut Bundesliga campaign, helping the well-backed club finish second behind Bayern Munich. He also impressed for the German national team who were victorious at this summer’s Confederations Cup in Russia.
The report claims that one bookmaker has cut the odds of Werner signing from 8/1 to 4/1, whilst they are reportedly at short odds to bring in Diego Costa (1/2), Moussa Dembele (6/1), Christian Benteke (6/1) or Olivier Giroud (6/1).
Elsewhere, want-away midfielder Ross Barkley has been the subject of a failed £25 million bid from Chelsea.
BBC Sport report that the bid was merely half of Everton’s £50 million valuation of the England midfielder, but with one year left to run on his contract and the player facing three months on the sidelines with a hamstring problem, his value may inevitably plummet ahead of any transfer. The source also suggests the player may yet leave Goodison on deadline day.
Finally, Everton have achieved a breakthrough in their bid to sign Hajduk Split wide-man Nikola Vlasic. The Croatian Football Federation (HNS) confirmed via Twitter that the player has been given special permission to leave a training camp with Croatia’s Under-21 side in order to speak with Everton representatives over a transfer.
Ronald Koeman is thought to have been impressed by the youngster’s display over Everton’s two-legs against Hajduk Split in the Europa League qualifying play-off round, and is looking to wrap-up a deal for the 19-year-old before the deadline.
Hajduk club president Ivan Kos also hinted that Vlasic may leave the club before the end of the window, in an interview with Croatian newspaper Slobodna Dalmacija.
“The transfer window runs until 31 August, sometimes transfers happen a minute before midnight. We don’t want to lose one percent of our quality, but we also have to think about financial stability”, Kos said.
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