Everton are being proactive in their search for Idrissa Gana Gueye’s Goodison Park successor, with journalist Augusto Cesar expecting the Toffees to activate midfielder Wilmar Barrios’ release clause.
Gueye has been underperforming recently, but Everton expect a bid to come their way for his services with French giants Paris Saint-Germain touting for replacements to Adrien Rabiot.
So far the Goodison Park outfit are holding firm with a €45million (£40.4m) asking price, proving enough to keep PSG at bay, but are not resting on their laurels and are searching for potential replacements should Thomas Tuchel demand his side pay the asking price.
One player being considered is Boca Juniors star defensive midfielder Barrios, who has been at Xeneizes since 2016.
He would cost Everton a great deal more, however, with Augusto Cesar reporting that his release clause is set at £23million, although Boca would accept a bid lower providing it eclipses £20m.
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Judging by Gueye’s recent performances, it is only a matter of time before Marco Silva feels he needs a new defensive midfielder, even if PSG decide to go with an alternative option.
The 29-year-old cut a lost figure in the Toffee’s FA Cup win over Lincoln on Sunday, as the visitors’ tactic to hit long balls to aerially strong forwards nullified the Senegalese international’s impact on the game.
Even when the 62-cap star got on the ball, he could not make his presence felt, leading to his own supporters venting their frustrations at a late misplaced pass.
Barrios, on the other hand, is an unproven talent in Europe’s top leagues given he has never played outside South America.
The 14-cap international has, however, shown in his time at Boca that he could bring a steely grit to a flourishing Silva side if Everton were to make a move, having missed out on the 25-year-old in 2018 when he decided to stay and fight for the Copa Libertadores title.
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