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Saturday 23 August 2014

Loïc Rémy on Everton's radar as Roberto Martinez plots his summer spending

Jason Burt

Published 30/03/2014 | 12:22

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Loic Remy has ambitions to play for one of Europe's biggest clubs
Loic Remy

Everton are considering a £10.5 million move for French striker Loïc Rémy having been told by Chelsea that it will cost £20 million to sign Romelu Lukaku.

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The Merseyside club have not given up hope of securing Lukaku, who is on a season-long loan, on a permanent basis and believe their chances will be enhanced if they qualify for the Champions League.

Everton face Fulham away at Craven Cottage on Sunday hoping to increase the pressure on fourth-placed Arsenal, who they host at Goodison Park next week.

Everton would still need Chelsea – who are reshaping their forward line with £40  million Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa their main target – to lower their valuation on Lukaku although that is unlikely given there is a great deal of interest in the 20-year-old Belgium international.

An alternative for Everton would be Rémy, who is on loan at Newcastle United and is expected to be sold by Queens Park Rangers this summer.

The valuation for Rémy, it is understood, is not only lower but more straightforward because there is a buy-out clause, which makes the 27-year-old an attractive option. Tottenham Hotspur are also interested and Newcastle have not given up hoping of signing him on a permanent basis.

Roberto Martínez is hoping to make a number of summer signings, partly dependent on which European competition Everton are in next season, and is understood to have already been informed what level of transfer kitty is available.

There are already indications that Everton want to re-sign Jack Rodwell from Manchester City while the club could also agree a permanent deal to acquire loanee Gareth Barry, also from City.

Martínez acknowledged that Everton will face a fight to sign Lukaku and that his hand would be strengthened by being in the Champions League: “We need to finish the season as strong as we can and see what next season brings,” he said. “If next season is only domestic competitions then that is one approach, if it is Europe it is a completely different approach and it will depend a lot on the three parties’ conversation.

“The parent club has a big say and the player will have a big say. All I’m concentrating on is that the loan has been a big success. That is down to the eight games [remaining] to fulfil the promise.”

Martínez said that Chelsea are delighted with the progress Lukaku has made at Everton where he has played more regularly, scoring 12 league goals, one fewer than Remy.

“From a football point of view he found it was perfect [for Lukaku] to be with us and the influence of having Kevin Mirallas from the national team had a big say,” Martínez said. “It was one of those moments that felt right and I felt he was the perfect player we needed. It has been really successful, firstly for Rom in that he has developed the way we wanted and Chelsea are happy with the way we treated their player. The next eight games are going to be huge for our point of view but also for Rom’s as well.”

Everton may eventually face a fight to hold onto Ross Barkley with Martínez claiming that the 20-year-old “is as good an English talent as we have seen and that’s going to alert teams who are competing to win the Champions League, never mind competing to win the Premier League”.

But Martínez insisted that Everton will fight to keep the midfielder. “You want to keep your best performers and at the moment we are looking at Ross as being one of the top players for the future and we want to build our future around Ross Barkley.”

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