Marcel Brands should be bidding Everton’s millions on Brighton and Hove Albion’s Tariq Lamptey after Norwich City reportedly slapped a £35m asking price on Max Aarons.
Speaking at the FT Business of Football summit, via quotes by Sky Sports, Canaries joint-majority shareholder Delia Smith confirmed the Championship side expect to sell Aarons.
This comes after reports by Sky Sports that the Carrow Road natives have informed Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich that it would take an offer worth between £30-35m to sell the 21-year-old this summer.
Bayern are believed to have scouted Aarons for the past two years and now begun talks over a deal for the England U21 international, who has been a mainstay of Daniel Farke’s side by starting all 30 of the Norfolk outfit’s second-tier fixtures to date.
Norwich are in no rush to part with the product of their academy, who has also been touted by TEAMtalk with a potential move to Everton where Carlo Ancelotti is thought to be targeting a long-term successor for Seamus Coleman.
But Smith accepts it is inevitable that Aarons follows Ben Godfrey, Jamal Lewis and James Maddison in sealing moves away from Carrow Road after a deal to join FC Barcelona on loan fell through last September.
“Max Aarons is one of the best. He is going to be one of the top footballers and it won’t be at Norwich,” she said.
“He knows that. We know that. But we didn’t have any problem with Max or his parents on this particular occasion and this particular deal. Obviously, we will lose him, but that is part of our plan.”
There’s no doubt that Everton have benefited from their £20m deal to sign Godfrey last summer, with the defender proving immensely promising in many positions and see Carlo Ancelotti back the 23-year-old to earn an England call-up.
But whether the Toffees should forge another raid on Norfolk for one of the Canaries’ bright prospects remains to be seen when the Blues’ Director of Football Brands can sign a potentially superior option in Brighton’s Lamptey.
Like Aarons, Lamptey has been linked with a potential move to Goodison Park by The Athletic, with the Blues said to be unswayed by the 21-year-old penning a new, four-and-a-half-year contract at the Amex Stadium worth £40k-per-week.
The Seagulls are not expected to stand in the Chelsea flop’s way, either, should the south coast side receive offers matching their asking price for a player signed in January 2020 for just £4m.
That price tag is likely to have risen since last summer when Lamptey was on Bayern Munich’s radar, with Sport 1 suggesting Brighton valued the right-back at €25m (£21.5m).
If both are available for similar fees, Everton may be better suited splashing out on Lamptey; who has offered the same number of goals (1) as Aarons this term but provided more assists (1) in 1,809 minutes less and in the Premier League rather than Championship, per WhoScored.
Lamptey also offers Brighton a higher number of tackles (1.5) and interceptions (1.7) per game than Aarons delivers for Norwich (0.7 tackles, 0.9 interceptions) and delivers the same number of crosses (0.9) as Ancelotti’s potential alternative target.
So, if Bayern intend to pursue Aarons, Brands should not second-guess a swoop for Lamptey as the 20-year-old – who is lauded for his “unbelievably quick” speed – can be everything Everton need in a Coleman replacement and more.
AND in other news, Carlo Ancelotti is willing Everton to pay £26.5m for a £176k-p/w gem…