Everton are among a number of European clubs considering a move for Lecce central midfielder Joan Gonzalez this summer, according to reports.
The Toffees have as many as seven senior players out of contract at the end of the season, so Sean Dyche will have a big job on his hands to rebuild his squad.
Any potential signings will likely rely upon Everton remaining in the Premier League, though, with their poor performance on the pitch affecting their progress behind the scenes.
Two of the players who could leave Goodison Park are midfielders Abdoulaye Doucoure and Tom Davies, and if both were to leave, bringing in a new centre-mid would be vital for Dyche.
The pair’s future was already in doubt in January, with Doucoure linked with a move to high-flying Fulham, while Rangers were pushing to sign Davies.
With that in mind, Gonzalez could prove to be an excellent addition for the Toffees, but according to reports coming out of Italy, Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United are also interested in his signature.
AC Milan are also in the race, so there is every chance that there could be a bidding war for the 21-year-old’s services this summer.
Gonzalez could be a major upgrade on Davies
With Gonzalez’s contract with Lecce valid until 2027, it is believed that a fee of €15m (approx. £13.2m) would be required to lure him away from the Italian club.
However, with the Spaniard still a youngster and touted to have huge potential, he could prove to be worth significantly more than that in a few years.
Standing at 6ft 3, Gonzalez is an imposing figure on the pitch and would make an excellent midfield partner for Amadou Onana, who is another giant, with a height of 6ft 4.
This season, the midfielder has made three assists in 24 appearances in the Serie A and ranks highly among his teammates for average tackles, blocks, shots, key passes, dribbles and pass success rate per match.
With the energy to contribute in attack and help out in defence, Gonzalez could prove to be ideal for Dyche’s high-intensity, aggressive system.
Arguably, he would be a big upgrade on Davies, who has been criticised for being too wasteful on the ball and not being strong enough to break up opposition attacks.
But, as mentioned, Everton will have to move quickly to secure a deal with multiple clubs interested.
The problem is, however, they may not be able to come to a decision on Gonzalez until they have confirmed their Premier League safety – with the Toffees currently sitting in the relegation zone.
This is just another example of the importance of staying in the Premier League and there is no doubt that Dyche will do everything he can to guide his team to safety.