Everton are one of several sides eager to secure the services of Lille forward Jonathan Ikone as the January transfer window fast approaches.
According to Italian outlet MilanLive (as relayed by the Liverpool ECHO), the Toffees are joined by fellow Premier League outfit West Ham United and Italian giants AC Milan in the race for the 23-year-old’s services.
The report states that both Everton and the Hammers are “seriously considering buying the player” over the coming months, with Milan taking a backseat for now.
Ikone is under contract at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy until the summer of 2023, though, meaning Lille are expected to demand a sizeable fee for one of their prized assets.
News that director of football Marcel Brands is reportedly plotting a potential move Ikone will have Everton fans buzzing with excitement.
The versatile attacker has established himself as one of Ligue 1’s most exciting talents since swapping boyhood club Paris Saint-Germain for Lille back in the summer of 2018.
Last term, the youngster played a pivotal part as Les Dogues shocked French football to claim their first Ligue 1 title in 10 years, scoring four goals and providing five assists in 37 top-flight appearances.
And although he’s struggled to provide goal contributions on a regular basis this term – finding the back of the net on just two occasions – Ikone’s underlying numbers have remained impressive.
As per WhoScored, the four-cap France international has averaged 1.2 shots per league game in 2021/22, one key pass and 0.8 dribbles, placing him in the top-five for each metric amongst his teammates.
Ikone has also been lauded as a “midfielder with a great future” by PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi and a “very talented young player” with “great potential” by Lille’s deputy CEO Marc Ingla, both via the same source.
Therefore, a move for the £22.5m-rated wizard would make a lot of sense for Rafa Benitez’s charges as the Spanish tactician looks to bolster his attacking options.
Only time will tell if the Everton hierarchy sanction a move for Ikone in the winter window, but his arrival is one that would surely be lauded by the Merseyside outfit’s supporters.