Marcel Brands must strike a deal to sign RB Salzburg’s in-demand striker Patson Daka, who would be perfect for Carlo Ancelotti at Everton next season.
According to the Daily Star, RB Salzburg have slapped a tempting £17m asking price on Daka amid growing European interest.
The Zambia international is considered to be a bargain alternative to Borussia Dortmund’s £127m-valued sensation Erling Haaland, having been scoring for fun in Austria this season.
However, his efforts also have Liverpool, Manchester United and Arsenal in a race against time alongside Everton to seal a deal, as clubs must ‘move quickly’ to avoid Daka inflating his valuation any further.
Daka was in scintillating form on Sunday as he struck an 11-minute hat-trick against SK Sturm Graz to take his tally for the term to 30 in 32 games across all competitions. Only twice this season has the 22-year-old failed to find the back of the net during an Austrian Bundesliga fixture, and he now has 12 goals in his last seven league appearances.
Daka took his frightening form onto the international stage last month as well, netting braces against Algeria and Zimbabwe in Africa Cup of Nations qualifying ties.
He could now prove to be an absolute steal for clubs unwilling to meet Dortmund’s £127m demand for Haaland, who cut his teeth in Austria with 29 goals in 27 games for RB Salzburg before sealing a £17.1m move to Germany.
There are no guarantees that Daka will hit the ground running in one of Europe’s top five leagues and be worth £110m more than he was signed for after just 16 months, but the signs of the RB Salzburg striker going on to become a genuine star are very promising.
The 22-year-old has been a free-scoring machine under Jesse Marsch this season and is showing no signs that his rich vein of form is about to start drying up, but rather that he is ready to take the next step in his career and play at a higher level.
His character on and off the pitch has also been commendable, which has made Daka a joy for the RB Salzburg coaching staff to work alongside.
“Patson has played fantastically well,” Marsch said earlier in the season, via quotes by Zambian Football. “We can say Patson has played very well and also the character he shows on and off the pitch and the daily work that he invests, I’m just enjoying being his coach.
“He is a great lad on and off the pitch, he is hard-working, and he is a little fast. It’s a just lot of fun working with him and I hope he continues with this development [as] he has a lot of potential. He is just a fantastic player.”
At £17m, Brands should be doing all he can to see Everton head the emerging queue of potential suitors as Daka could be perfect for Ancelotti, who may be without Cenk Tosun, Joshua King and Moise Kean next season.
Ancelotti demands a lot from his players, especially in terms of work rate, but his methods are effective, having seen Richarlison drag himself out of a run of one goal in 15 Premier League games to strike four in as many matches, including goals against Manchester City and Liverpool.
“He [Richarlison] has to be more focused; he has to sacrifice more and that is it. There is no other way that I know to improve,” Ancelotti said, via quotes shared by the Daily Mail, in February. “I hope that he can reach his best level with sacrificing more and more focus. Work harder on the pitch. Harder.”
Daka already seems to be a hard worker, with a prolific record in front of the goal making a £17m move an easy decision for Brands to pursue, but the Everton director of football may have to act much sooner than this summer.