Marcel Brands should seal a summer swoop for Everton to sign VfB Stuttgart striker Sasa Kalajdzic and hand Carlo Ancelotti a second Dominic Calvert-Lewin type player.
According to Tutto Juve, Serie A powerhouse Juventus are exploring a deal to sign Stuttgart striker Kalajdzic at the end of the season, but face vivid European competition.
The 23-year-old forward is thought to be on the radars of Everton, Newcastle United and RB Leipzig, after his Bundesliga side slapped an ‘affordable’ €20m (£17m) asking price on him.
Kalajdzic is noted by the Italian publication to be seen as the next Erling Haaland after scoring 13 goals in 24 German top-flight games this season, and he could well make a similar leap as the Borussia Dortmund sensation he is compared to.
Haaland trails only Bayern Munich’s 32-goal monster Robert Lewandowski in the Bundesliga Golden Boot race with 19 in 20 games, while Kalajdzic ranks sixth having contributed 28% of Stuttgart’s 47 efforts to date.
Reports by the Daily Mail also presented West Ham United as a potential destination for the £7,500-per-week attacker earlier this month, as David Moyes draws up a shortlist of options to target at the London Stadium.
Those claims also mentioned RB Leipzig’s interest but added that of Serie A side AS Roma, which have been supported by German publication Kicker, who note that Stuttgart’s Sporting Director Sven Mislintat has confirmed that player sales are likely this summer.
But the Mercedes-Benz Arena natives’ asking price has been questioned with the Daily Mail citing a valuation of around £15m, while Kicker claim a fee of between €20-25m (£17-21.5m) will be needed to strike a deal.
Everton appear to be drawing up their own shortlist of attacking weapons that Ancelotti and Brands can target at the end of the season, as the Goodison Park natives have recently been linked with FC Barcelona’s Martin Braithwaite too.
The Toffees may be putting precautions in place with speculation surrounding the long-term futures of Joshua King and Moise Kean on Merseyside, while Cenk Tosun will only have a year remaining on his £60,000-per-week contract come June.
Tosun is unlikely to be offered new terms given his struggles in the Premier League with 11 goals in 58 games since a £27m move from Besiktas in 2018, while King is yet to find the back of the net since his Deadline Day arrival last month.
Brands instead moving to sign Kalajdzic could see the Everton chief land Ancelotti a second Calvert-Lewin type, one who is able to match the Toffees’ top-scorer on the pitch, rather than force the Blues to play to a different tune.
Ancelotti often relies on Calvert-Lewin to offer a focal point in attack that Everton can target and play off, with the 24-year-old contesting 8.8 aerial duels a game in the Premier League – close to double the next-most of Lucas Digne (4.7) and Yerry Mina (4.6), per WhoScored.
Kalajdzic, who has been dubbed an “Ibrahimovic-machine” in comparison to Zlatan Ibrahimovic for his 6 ft 5 stature, can match that presence, having contested 5.2 aerial duels per game in the Bundesliga this term, along with taking 2.1 shots to Calvert-Lewin’s 2.5.
While the fee needed may still be unknown at this point, Brands should surely be working on a deal for Kalajdzic to join Everton.