Everton eye creative solution after engaging in three-way battle for Serie A star
Everton have entered the race to sign attacking midfielder Filip Djuricic from Sassuolo, according to a report in Italy which also supports the interest of two other Premier League clubs.
Djuricic is in the last year of his contract with Sassuolo, where he has been playing since 2018. As number 10, he has played a decisive role in recent years. However, he’s never been at one club for too long and could be ready for his next move.
Sassuolo may have to sell him for a small fee in January to avoid his departure as a free agent at the end of the season. A number of clubs are already lining up for his signing.
A report earlier this week named West Ham and Southampton as contenders for transfer battle. He actually has precedents with the latter, for whom he played on loan for nine games in 2015.
The former Benfica player could be considered on the south coast again, having become a more complete player since his first stint at St Mary’s Stadium.
But West Ham can also pose a threat to them in battle as they continue to look for ways to improve their offense. Not only do they still lack competition up front, but the attacking midfielder they’ve recruited to replace Jesse Lingard – Nikola Vlasic – has yet to reach the top.
However, Vlasic’s former club Everton have now become a third Premier League contender for Djuricic’s transfer.
According to a brief report of Calciomercato, the battle to sign Djuricic is resolutely between these three clubs.
There have been expressions of interest from bigger teams in Italy and other European clubs, but it looks like the 29-year-old may be ready to return to the Premier League.
Having had no impact there earlier in his career, he hopes to prove himself more this time around if a move goes through.
Everton are looking for additional attacking talent and were coincidentally linked with former West Ham lender Jesse Lingard. If they can’t pull him off from Manchester United, they look set to compete with the Hammers for Djuricic.
Benitez considers ‘absurd’ transfer to Everton
Djuricic is not the first Serie A attacking midfielder to be linked with Everton this week.
It has also been reported that Rafael Benitez is preparing a move for Alexis Sanchez, formerly of Arsenal and Manchester United.
Sanchez joined Inter Milan in 2019, but his time there was not a great success. He won the Serie A title with them last season but is not a regular holder.
Therefore, he needs an emergency exit in 2022. A report by Inter live said ex-Nerazzurri boss Benitez would be ready to take him on.
Inter live said the transfer would be “absurd”. But they also pointed to an intriguing swap deal that would see Cenk Tosun go the other way.
Tosun has found things difficult since joining Everton in 2018. Inter, however, want one more striker and could give him a new life elsewhere.
After a positive, albeit unspectacular, summer transfer window, Everton will have a long way to go in the new year.
READ MORE: Expert advises Everton to lose key man as European giant’s “lure” kicks in