Everton: Striker linked; Championship star in talks; shock move for Liverpool man
The transfer news is coming thick and fast at Everton lately, with Yannick Bolasie the latest to arrive at Goodison Park yesterday, joining from Premier League rivals Crystal Palace for £25 million. After announcing the deal, majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri admitted that the Blues are “anxious” to add to the four signings they have already made this summer.
One man linked to the Toffees this morning is Southampton striker Charlie Austin. The 27-year-old played under Everton boss Ronald Koeman at St. Mary’s Stadium last season and a reunion could be on the cards, according to the Daily Mirror. Austin has been one of English football’s most prolific goalscorers over the past few seasons but has struggled to establish himself with the Saints following his January switch from Queens Park Rangers.
Although it was Koeman that signed the former Swindon Town striker, the fact that Austin only managed two Premier League starts under him last season means that there is probably not a lot of affinity between the two. Nevertheless, Koeman’s successor at Southampton, Claude Puel, looks set to use Nathan Redmond alongside Shane Long up front, and with Austin worried about becoming a fringe player at the club, the report claims that he is seeking a move before the transfer window closes at the end of the month.
Were Austin to join, then he would presumably be seen as cover for Romelu Lukaku. Despite Koeman’s experimentation with Gerard Deulofeu during pre-season, Arouna Kone and Oumar Niasse are the only two senior players capable of filling in for Lukaku, but with the latter expected to leave before the window is up, the Toffees will probably require a new striker. Austin may well be the answer; after all, when given the chance, his goalscoring record at this level is impressive. He averaged just over a goal every other game in 2014/15 as QPR were relegated from the Premier League so if the fee is right then his signing could prove to be a masterstroke.
Meanwhile, L’Equipe claim that Everton officials are in Paris today as they reignite their interest in Newcastle United midfielder Moussa Sissoko. The club have reportedly sent officials to the French capital in order to thrash out a deal for the player as soon as possible.
After starring for France in this summer’s European Championships, Sissoko has made it well-known that he would like to leave St. James’ Park and has been heavily linked with a move to Real Madrid in recent weeks. The 27-year-old is yet to feature in either of Newcastle’s Championship games this season, both of which have ended in defeat, but the Magpies are still thought to be demanding a fee in the region of £35 million for the player.
However, the Toffees are not the only club thought to be meeting Sissoko’s representatives this week, with the report claiming that Inter Milan are also in the market for the player.
Finally, Everton could be set to make a shock bid for Liverpool’s Christian Benteke if reports in the Daily Star are to be believed. Crystal Palace are currently leading the race for the Belgian, despite having a £30 million bid turned down this morning, but the Toffees are thought to be weighing up a move to bring the 25-year-old across Stanley Park.
The reported interest will inevitably lead to speculation that Benteke’s international teammate, Lukaku, will be on his way, following reports of interest from Chelsea. However, with Everton officials determined to keep their star striker, it may be the case that Koeman is looking to provide healthy competition for Lukaku. However, it would seem a strange move in more than one way, as the two strikers possess a very similar style of play, and you would think that the club would target a different type of player in order to give them more options.
Although Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is keen to allow the player to move on, no player has left the Reds to join their city rivals since Gary Ablett in 1992 and the move would surely be a controversial one.
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