The door has seemingly opened for Everton to make a move for one of their mooted transfer targets…
According to The Athletic’s David Ornstein, Josh King’s move to league rivals Southampton has fallen through at the 11th hour as the Saints do not want to match his wage demands.
It’s thought that a “small fee” and a swap deal for Shane Long had been agreed with AFC Bournemouth, whilst earlier today, talkSPORT’s transfer expert Alex Crook revealed that the 29-year-old is currently available for “a much lower fee” having once been linked with a £15m asking price.
Crook believes the Toffees are “back into the equation,” as a result.
On the face of it, the Merseyside outfit do not need another forward option as they are blessed with Richarlison and Dominic Calvert-Lewin, but neither has a true back-up.
Moise Kean is at PSG, while Cenk Tosun has returned to Besiktas, so really, Carlo Ancelotti is only one serious injury to the Englishman away from a massive disaster.
Calvert-Lewin may not have scored in his last seven appearances, but he still remains the Toffees’ top goalscorer on 11 goals for the Premier League campaign, via Transfermarkt.
King is an intriguing alternative as he can also provide cover on either flank. In five successive top-flight campaigns with the Cherries, the Norway international has scored at least six times, whilst a career-best of 16 came during the 2016/17 season, via Tranfermarkt.
The 6 foot 2 dynamo was deployed in five different positions during that time, though his most lucrative returns came through the middle.
Aside from his suitability of being a solid back-up to Calvert-Lewin, he could push Ancelotti’s wide options as he ranked 16th for dribbles per 90 in 2019/20, and was also 15th for possession won in the final third, via Sky Sports.
This sort of work-rate is something that the Everton boss desires from his frontline, so it’s no wonder that King was once dubbed the “complete package” by former Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe when speaking to Match of the Day (via Football Faithful).
According to Spotrac, King is only on £45k-per-week at the Vitality Stadium, so given that he’s available for a lower fee and is on a fairly cheap salary, it would make sense for Marcel Brands to strike before 11pm.
Versatile, experienced and an eye for goal – what’s not to like? The Toffees could bounce back from their midweek defeat by securing King’s signature tonight.
AND in other news, Brands should consider instant Kenny replacement…