Wednesday 22 November 2017

Everton step up interest in £26 million Ajax midfielder Davy Klaassen

Davy Klaassen is on Everton's radar. CREDIT: AFP
Davy Klaassen is on Everton's radar. CREDIT: AFP

Chris Bascombe

Everton have made their first significant move of the transfer window by registering their interest in Ajax’s Davy Klaassen and are waiting to hear if Spanish striker Sandro Ramirez will head to Merseyside.

Klaassen – a star of Ajax’s recent run to the Europa League final – is a long-term target of manager Ronald Koeman who is prepared to pay in the region of £26 million for the midfielder.

Koeman is determined to add midfielders who will create and score more. A persistent criticism of his current side is they rely far too much on Romelu Lukaku.

Klaassen certainly fits the bill given his record in Holland, and although he endured a difficult evening against Manchester United in Stockholm, the Everton coach is sure the 24-year-old can adapt to the Premier League.

The pursuit of the Ajax star will fuel speculation about Ross Barkley’s future. So far as Koeman is concerned, the deadline for Barkley to sign a new deal or go passed at the end of the season, and the Everton manager is not one to compromise.

It has long been felt Koeman is ambivalent on Barkley and the prospect of the England midfielder starting the season in the first team appear remote unless there is a u-turn from all parties.

Barkley rejected a deal of £100,000 a week last season but the matter is complicated because Everton value their home grown player at £50 million – a value unlikely to be met. That prompts the question what Koeman will do with a player he said could be frozen out.

Koeman has also been planning for the possibility of Lukaku leaving for Chelsea – the Belgian is determined to go – although resistance to that move is stronger and Everton are adamant they will not accept less than £100 million.

Regardless of Lukaku’s future, Everton want more quality strikers and Sandro is available for just £5.2 million due to a clause in his contract. He spent last season on loan at Malaga. Talks have been held and Everton hope to discover today if former Barcelona striker is willing to make the move.

Everton also retain interest in Burnley's Michael Keane, Sunderland keeper Jordan Pickford and Swansea’s Gylfi Sigurdsson.

Independent News Service

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