Everton eye creative solution after entering three-way battle for Serie A star

Date published: Sunday 24th October 2021 1:31 - Samuel Bannister

Filip Djuricic dribbling from Lassana Coulibaly

Everton have entered the race to sign attacking midfielder Filip Djuricic from Sassuolo, according to a report in Italy that also backs up interest from two other Premier League clubs.

Djuricic is in the final year of his contract with Sassuolo, where he has played since 2018. As their number 10, he has been instrumental over the past few years. However, he has never stayed at a single club for too long and could be ready for his next move.

Sassuolo may have to sell him for a small fee in January in order to prevent his departure occurring as a free agent at the end of the season. A number of clubs are already queuing up for his signature.

A report earlier this week named West Ham and Southampton as contenders in the transfer battle. He actually has previous with the latter, for whom he played on loan for nine games in 2015.

The former Benfica man could be considered again on the South Coast, having become a more complete player since his first spell at St Mary’s Stadium.

But West Ham may also pose a threat to them in the battle as they continue to look for ways to improve in attack. Not only are they still lacking competition up front, the attacking midfielder they brought in to replace Jesse Lingard – Nikola Vlasic – is yet to hit the heights.

However, Vlasic’s former club Everton have now emerged as a third Premier League contender for the transfer of Djuricic.

According to a brief report from Calciomercato, the battle to sign Djuricic is firmly between those three clubs.

There have been previous claims of interest from bigger sides in Italy and other European clubs, but it seems the 29-year-old could be ready to return to the Premier League.

After failing to make an impact there earlier in his career, he will be hoping to prove himself more this time around should a move go through.

Everton are looking at an extra attacking talent and have coincidentally been linked with ex-West Ham loanee Jesse Lingard. If they can’t take him from Manchester United, though, they seem set to rival the Hammers for Djuricic.

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Benitez plans ‘absurd’ Everton transfer

Djuricic is not the first Serie A attacking midfielder to be linked with Everton this week.

There was also a report of Rafael Benitez plotting a transfer for Alexis Sanchez, formerly of Arsenal and Manchester United.

Sanchez joined Inter Milan in 2019 but his time there has not been a major success. He won the Serie A title with them last season but is not a regular starter.

Therefore, he needs an escape route in 2022. A report from Inter Live said ex-Nerazzurri boss Benitez would be willing to take him.

Inter Live did say the transfer would be “absurd”. But they also pointed to an intriguing swap deal that would see Cenk Tosun move the other way.

Tosun has found things difficult since moving to Everton in 2018. Inter want one more striker though and may offer him a new lease of life elsewhere.

After a positive, if unspectacular, summer transfer window, Everton will have plenty more business to do in the New Year.

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