Everton have been linked with a move for Arsenal striker Alexandre Lacazette as new manager Rafa Benitez look to bolster his threadbare forward line.
According to French outlet Jeunes Footeux, the Toffees are one of two Premier League sides eager to snap up the 30-year-old over the coming months, with West Ham United also credited with an interest.
The report states that: “Indeed, Everton and West Ham are closely following the situation of Alexandre Lacazette. Contacts would even exist between the various parties.
“The 30-year-old French striker, who earns just under €10m per season, will nevertheless have to lower his financial requirements so that an agreement can be found.”
Lacazette is set to be out of contract at the Emirates Stadium next summer, and with no new deal on the horizon, an imminent exit appears to be firmly on the cards, either over the winter window or as a free agent at the end of the season.
After rising through the ranks at boyhood club Lyon, Lazazette established himself as one of the most exciting forwards in Ligue 1 after making his senior debut back in 2010.
The versatile forward’s remarkable form earned him a £46.5m move to Arsenal back in July 2017, a club-record fee for the north London outfit at the time, but he has arguably failed to live up to expectations in north London.
Despite scoring 68 goals and laying on a further 29 assists in 175 outings for the Gunners, Lacazette only has one FA Cup success to show for his efforts on English shores and has failed to fire the capital club back to the Champions League.
Nevertheless, his ability to put the ball in the back of the net on a regular basis has never been in doubt, and he showed against Crystal Palace last time out that he’s still a deadlier finisher as ever.
After Lacazette popped up with an injury-time equaliser against the Eagles, former Chelsea midfielder Andy Townsend said on Premier League Productions: “Give a lot of credit to Lacazette because he’s come on and made a difference.
“Arsenal keep the ball alive, and when the ball comes to Lacazette, he’s still got a bit to do to get it past Guaita, and it’s a sweet strike. Incredible.”
Therefore, Everton’s director of football, Marcel Brands, must swoop for the £19.8m-rated gem over the winter window, providing Benitez with the strength in depth he needs to push for European football this season.