Everton gunning for UCL forward as Lampard plots huge double deal to offset confirmed exit

Matheus Cunha of Atletico Madrid during the Group B - UEFA Champions League match between Club Brugge KV and Atletico Madrid at the Jan Breydelstadion on October 4, 2022 in Brugges, Belgium

Fabrizio Romano confirmed Everton are exploring the striker market after terminating Salomon Rondon’s contract, and a LaLiga forward wanted by a vast array of Premier League sides could be part one of a huge double coup, per reports.

Scoring goals has been a persistent problem for Everton all season. The Toffees entered the World Cup break the joint-second lowest scorers in the league (11 goals). Only Wolves (8)- who are dead last – have scored fewer.

Even more responsibility was placed on Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s shoulders following Richarlison’s move to Tottenham. However, the 25-year-old has been limited to just six appearances all season due to injury.

That’s prompted Frank Lampard to deploy summer recruit Neal Maupay up top or play Anthony Gordon as a false nine. Between them, they’ve only notched four goals in 24 outings.

Clearly, something needs to change if Everton are to break clear of the relegation scrap. The first step has been to terminate the contract of back-up frontman, Salomon Rondon.

Everton confirmed the Venezuelan has left the club by mutual consent, with an official statement reading: “Salomon Rondon has left Everton with immediate effect after reaching an agreement with the Club to terminate his contract.

“The Venezuela striker joined the Blues from Chinese team Dalian Professional in August 2021 and made 31 appearances for Everton, starting 13 matches and scoring three goals.

“The 33-year-old’s deal was initially due to end at the end of June 2023.

“Everyone at Everton wishes Salomon all the best for the future.”

Rondon exit releases Everton shackles

That may appear to be a backwards step for a club who can’t find the net. However, according to Fabrizio Romano, it’s with a view to freeing up both funds and room for a new addition.

The Toffees have been linked with all manner of forwards of late. Indeed, Watford’s Ismaila Sarr, Ajax’ Mohammed Kudus and Salernitana loanee Boulaye Dia have all been mentioned as possible solutions next month.

But per both Fabrizio Romano and 90min, Everton are aiming even higher and are in the mix for Atletico Madrid’s Matheus Cunha.

The Brazil international, 23, is in his second season at Atletico, though is already looking for a way out.

The versatile forward hasn’t found his feet in Spain and the signs are beginning to point towards a January exit. 90min report a loan deal – potentially with an option to buy – could be on the cards.

Romano namechecked Everton specifically when confirming they’ll move for a striker in January. The trusted journalist stated the Toffees are among four clubs eyeing a move for Cunha.

90min shed light on their identities, putting Wolves, Leeds and Aston Villa in the frame as well as Everton.

Cunha would reportedly welcome the chance to work with new Wolves boss Julen Lopetegui. However, it’s stressed he’ll fully explore every available option before choosing who to join.

Second Everton deal in the works

Aside from signing a new forward, Everton also plan to tie down one of their top performers to a new deal.

Alex Iwobi has risen to the fore in 2022 and become one of Lampard and Everton’s most trusted lieutenants.

The ex-Arsenal star has started all 15 of Everton’s league matches this term, and leads the club in the assists column with five.

He’s created a 1.53 chances per 90 minutes this season, per BBC Sport, and according to Romano, is in line for a contract extension.

The Italian reporter simply concluded his tweet by stating: “Iwobi is expected to sign new long term contract soon.”

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