In Focus: Everton lose out in Sandro Ramirez race

According to The Independent, Everton have been beaten to the signature of Malaga forward Sandro Ramirez ahead of this summer’s transfer window.

What’s the story?

Everton were said to be confident of bringing Sandro to Goodison Park this summer after head coach Ronald Koeman personally scouted the 21-year-old earlier this month.

Indeed, the Toffees had seemingly beaten Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool and Southampton in the race to sign the former Barcelona forward, who ended the 2016-17 campaign with 14 La Liga goals for Malaga.

However, according to The Independent, Everton have missed out to Atletico Madrid, with the Madrid giants confident that their transfer ban will be overturned before this summer’s transfer window officially opens.

A release clause of just over £5m has made Sandro one of the most in-demand forwards in European football this summer, although it appears that he will be turning out for Atletico next season, should Diego Simeone’s side see their transfer ban dropped.

How big of a blow is it to Everton?

It does appear that Romelu Lukaku will leave Goodison Park this summer after refusing to sign a new contract, whilst the future of Ross Barkley is also unclear, which has presented a difficult situation for the Toffees.

Everton supporters were excited when it was reported that Sandro could be on his way to Goodison Park, with the Spaniard enjoying a fine campaign for Malaga.

Sandro, who is a three-time Spain Under-21 international, came through the youth system at Las Palmas before joining Spanish  giants Barcelona in 2009, and he spent four years in the famous La Masia academy.

Sandro’s first-team debut for the Catalan giants came during the 2014-15 campaign, and he managed seven goals in 32 appearances for Barcelona before being seeking pastures new.

He was once again Malaga’s standout performer in their final game of the season at home to Real Madrid on Sunday night, but it now appears unlikely that the forward will be turning out in the Premier League after Atletico joined the race.

Everton boss Koeman is expected to splash the cash this summer in a bid to take the club into the top four, but missing out on a proven performer for just over £5m will be a very difficult pill to swallow.