Carlo Ancelotti must urge Everton to complete a January swoop for Joshua Zirkzee as Parma reportedly near a deal for the Bayern Munich striker.
According to Gianluca Di Marzio, Parma have identified Zirkzee as the Serie A side’s top target for the final days of the winter market as Roberto D’Aversa strives to sign at least one forward.
Negotiations are said to be heading toward a deal being agreed for the 19-year-old Dutchman to spend the remainder of the season at the Ennio Tardini Stadium.
The only serious hurdle left for Parma to overcome is in Bayern giving the final green light to a loan move with a €15m (£13.5m) option to buy the forward, who Bayern coach Hansi Flick lauds for his “remarkable” development.
Zirkzee had been linked with a move to Goodison Park this month, with reports by the Daily Mail suggesting Everton wanted to sign the youngster on loan with a £9m option to buy at the end of the season.
But the Toffees first had to wait to offload Cenk Tosun to formalise their position, in a sentiment shared by The Times who note that Zirkzee would prefer to secure a move to Merseyside than join Parma in the January transfer window.
The Liverpool Echo even suggested Zirkzee had been offered to Everton, though the Blues distanced themselves from suggestions that they are working to sign the former Feyenoord prospect they have been tracking since hiring director of football Marcel Brands back in 2018.
Time is clearly running out for Everton to complete a deal to make Zirkzee a Toffees player in the winter market, but Ancelotti’s need for a striker to arrive at Goodison Park is as clear as ever following Wednesday’s 1-1 draw with Leicester City.
Top-scorer Dominic Calvert-Lewin did not get much service during the midweek Premier League clash with the Foxes, but he still struggled to produce any real quality when with the ball at his feet in what was his sixth-straight top-flight outing without a goal.
The 23-year-old has now not scored since striking his side’s late first-half equaliser against Burnley at the start of last month, 573 minutes of action ago, after initially firing home 11 goals in 11 games with a fire rate of one every 84 minutes.
Ancelotti had no alternative option to make up for Calvert-Lewin’s shortcomings against Leicester with Cenk Tosun ruled out with a small injury, having sustained a minor knock in training ahead of last week’s FA Cup win over Sheffield Wednesday.
Yet Zirkzee could be just the impact man Ancelotti is lacking, as Bayern Munich star Joshua Kimmich once praised the Dutchman for his injury-time goal against SC Freiburg that helped to secure the Allianz Arena natives a 3-1 win last season.
“This is a very special story. Joshua is very important to us,” Kimmich said, via quotes by Teller Report.
He is yet to score this term due to a severe lack of game time, playing just 392 minutes to date, but Zirkzee has the potential to be everything that Tosun is not and give Ancelotti a viable alternative option for when Calvert-Lewin is failing to fire on all cylinders.