Premier League • England

Everton line up surprise move for Liverpool flop as first target of Dan Friedkin era becomes clear

Dan Friedkin could make Arthur Melo one of his first Everton signings

Dan Friedkin could make Arthur Melo one of his first Everton signings

Roma owner Dan Friedkin has agreed a deal in principle to take over Everton and could reportedly use his contacts in Italy to help them sign a new midfielder.

As we have consistently reported, the Toffees are likely to make at least one big sale before June 30th and Amadou Onana is being chased by top clubs.

A deal may be difficult to negotiate while Onana is away on international duty with Belgium at the European Championships, though.

Arsenal and Bayern Munich have been linked with the young midfielder in recent weeks and reports suggest that he could be available for around £50m.

Onana has become one of Everton’s most important players since joining from Lille in the summer of 2022 and he will need to be replaced if he does leave.

Everton’s sporting director Kevin Thelwell has been scouring the market for options and reports suggest that Juventus star Arthur Melo – who spent a very disappointing season on loan with Liverpool in 2022/23 – is one of his targets.

He isn’t part of Thiago Motta’s plans at Juventus and Thelwell reportedly believes he could be a valuable squad member at Goodison Park.

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Everton chasing former Liverpool man

According to Italian outlet TuttoSportEverton’s interest in Arthur is ‘concrete’ but any deal will be ‘dependent’ on Friedkin completing his takeover of Everton.

This could lengthen how long a transfer takes to be done, even though the process of getting Premier League approval should be a ‘formality’ for the American billionaire.

Arthur was limited to just one appearance during his season-long stint with Liverpool due to a serious injury and wants to prove himself in the Premier League, with Everton being his ‘most likely destination’ this summer.

He spent 2023/24 on loan with Fiorentina, where he made 48 appearances across all competitions, scoring two goals and making four assists in the process.

The Brazilian international – who hasn’t been picked in this year’s Copa America squad – generally plays as a defensive midfielder so would be a natural replacement for Onana at Everton.

Arthur could compete with James Garner, Idrissa Gana Gueye and Abdoulaye Doucoure in Sean Dyche’s starting XI in the coming season.

The report suggests that Everton are interested in signing Arthur permanently and Juventus are keen to sell him – but it’s not clear how much they’d demand for his signature.

It will be interesting to see how this story develops if Onana does leave the Toffees this summer.

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