According to Spanish media outlet Pucela Fichajes, Southampton could be preparing a €10m (£8.5m) bid for Real Valladolid centre-back Mohammed Salisu, which could leave potential fellow suitors Everton with a decision to make.
Well, Deportes Diario De Valladolid reported in November that the Toffees were among the Premier League clubs keen on the 20-year-old, who is said to have a release clause set at €12m (£10.2m).
However, it now appears that their top flight rivals Saints may make the first move for the Ghanaian, albeit below the fee the La Liga outfit want for the central defender.
Pucela Fichajes also report that any such bid could fling other clubs into action with Everton mentioned, and although the player is keen to remain with Valladolid until the summer, the interest from Southampton – or another club – could accelerate his exit.
It is no secret that the Toffees have a real lack of depth in the centre-back position this season, with Michael Keane, Yerry Mina and Mason Holgate their only senior options.
It certainly isn’t perfect – especially given the England international has come under plenty of criticism from supporters on Twitter for his displays this term – and it appears clear that they could do with an extra body in that position during the January transfer window.
Salisu looks to very much fit the bill for the type of player they should be targeting too – he is a promising player who has helped the Spanish side to 1-1 and 0-0 draws with Barcelona and Atletico Madrid this season respectively, while he is available for a little over £10m.
Did he play for Everton? Simple question but a lot tougher than you think…
As per WhoScored, the 6 foot 3 centre-back has also shown his strength in the air by winning 49 of the 75 duels (2.7 per game) he has faced in his 18 La Liga appearances in 2019/20.
In those terms he appears very similar to former Everton loanee Kurt Zouma, who won 3.1 per game during his successful loan spell at Goodison Park last term.
The dominant Salisu could easily go on to be the Toffees’ next Zouma, and now director of football Marcel Brands must decide whether to compete with Southampton should they end up launching a bid.