Everton can sign their dream Richarlison heir in Leicester City’s in-demand winger Demarai Gray amid reports Carlo Ancelotti’s side are eying a potential free transfer this summer.
Gray and his representatives are understood to have already held discussions with Olympique de Marseille over a move to the Ligue 1 side, with the 24-year-old free to negotiate with clubs from abroad.
SL Benfica, AS Monaco and Bundesliga outfits have also been linked, while Southampton have now come forward to register their interest after Leeds were claimed to be leading the race for the Tottenham Hotspur target’s signature (Mirror, 5/1, p. 47).
Gray has been shunned to the fringes at the King Power Stadium this term due to his reluctance to sign a new contract, with Brendan Rodgers calling on the former U21 international to play just 18 minutes of Premier League football.
Yet there appears to be no shortage of admirers, with Gray seen to be standing out as an exciting player set to be available for free this summer.
“He’s a very good player who keeps an excellent rating in England,” a Premier League scout told Le Phoceen. “He is still one of the very good wingers of his generation, even if his contractual situation at Leicester means that he is dismissed by Rodgers and the leaders.
“He is very quick and skilled at eliminating his opponent in the middle of the race, as well as against goalkeepers with a tendency to open his foot to find the opposite side of the net. There will surely be competition, because I think that good English clubs will move, like Everton, Tottenham or Southampton.”
Marcel Brands moving to place Everton at the front of the queue for Gray’s services would see the Dutchman hand Ancelotti a dream heir to Richarlison, with the Italian tactician well-aware of the Brazilian’s importance to how his side operates.
Rodgers may be reluctant to field Gray this season with the Birmingham-born forward refusing to commit his future to Leicester, but the Foxes boss is a firm believer in the 24-year-old’s potential and had wished to see him pen a new deal.
“He’s obviously a player we want to keep,” Rodgers said, via quotes by the Leicester Mercury, last summer. “He’s got wonderful talent. He can dribble, he can do everything. With Demarai, it’s always been about that end product, creating goals and assisting goals on a regular basis, and then working with an intensity to fit in with the structure of the team.”
Gray has provided three goals and an assist in four Premier League 2 appearances this season as he looks to maintain his match fitness, and has previously found the back of the net 13 times and created 17 goals in 169 first-team outings.
Ancelotti would likely love to work with a player with the potential and proven skill as the Foxes’ speed demon, who registered 0.8 shots and 0.8 key passes a game in the top-flight last term despite playing just 29 minutes in each appearance, on average, per SofaScore.