Everton: Toffees in hunt for Iranian star; Koeman plotting Old Trafford double raid
Club action may be firmly on the back burner during the international break, but that hasn’t meant any quietening down of transfer speculation at Goodison Park. The latest developments of concern to the blue half of Merseyside are emerging from Russia, with the Liverpool Echo claiming that Everton are in the market for FC Rostov’s Iranian hit-man Sardar Azmoun, who is also a target for local rivals Liverpool.
Liverpool are thought to be weighing up a move for the forward dubbed the ‘Iranian Messi’, but outlet Persian Football has been quoted by the Echo as claiming that the Toffees are the latest team to join the list of suitors.
The 21-year-old striker has caught the eye in the Champions League for tournament debutants FC Rostov this season and has established himself as an integral part of the Russian port club’s strike forward since since joining them on loan from Russian Premier League rivals Rubin Kazan last year, a move which at the start of this season he has made permanent.
Azmoun netted against Ajax and Anderlecht to help Rostov reach the group stages of the Champions League this season, and struck again at the Vicente Calderon to equalise against last season’s Champions League finalists Atletico Madrid in his side’s eventual 2-1 loss to the La Liga club.
The Iranian plundered 12 goals last year for his club and also boasts an impressive international record, with 16 goals in 22 appearances for his country, and Everton boss Ronald Koeman may be looking to single out the 21-year-old as the alternative source of goals his team needs.
With Iranian-born billionaire Farhad Moshiri on the board and pulling the strings at Goodison Park, Koeman could try to tempt the man upstairs into helping entice his compatriot into a deal. Stoke City and Olympique de Marseille are among the other clubs thought to be weighing up a move.
Elsewhere, the Daily Mirror has also revealed that Everton are planning a double transfer swoop on Manchester United in January, with the Toffees known to be interested in Koeman’s compatriot Memphis Depay, and now thought to be pursuing a deal for the Red Devils’ French international Morgan Schneiderlin also.
The Echo had reported before the international break that the Toffees could look to land Depay, and after his scintillating form for the Oranje over the past week, Koeman’s interest has only been fuelled further.
The Echo quotes Koeman, in an interview with FOX Sports Netherlands programme De tafel van Kees as saying on Depay: “I would like to have him”.
“I think he is an interesting player. He has great individual qualities. He just needs to play games.”
22-year-old winger Depay arrived at Old Trafford in a £25million move from PSV Eindhoven during the summer of 2015, playing 45 times in the 2015/16 campaign under the tutelage of another Dutchman, Louis van Gaal.
However, he has only seen 20 minutes of league action in four substitute appearances under new boss Jose Mourinho this season, and Koeman is seemingly ready to make his move.
Depay bagged a brace in the Netherlands’ 3-1 World Cup qualifying win in Luxembourg, and was candid when quizzed over the possibility of a January move, saying: “I do not know, we’ll have to see.“
“I focus on United, I do my very best to be able to get minutes.
“I’m going back to United with a good feeling, because I have got minutes here and we won. That is the most important thing.”
In comparison, former Southampton midfielder Schneiderlin, has had an even trickier time of it at Old Trafford under Mourinho then Depay, having only played six minutes under the ‘Special One.
The 27-year-old is a familiar face to Everton boss Ronald Koeman having played under the Dutchman during his first season in charge at St Mary’s, after which Louis Van Gaal brought the Frenchman to Old Trafford in a £27million move in 2015. With his career at United beginning to stagnate and having slipped out of the international reckoning, a January move to Goodison Park may just be the tonic to revive his career and Toffees boss Koeman seems convinced he can help kickstart the midfielder’s career.
Featured Image: All Rights Reserved by phimmoi nhat.
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