Everton hot on Serie A star but have work to do in transfer negotiations

Leonardo Bonucci Merih Demiral Danilo Juventus

Everton are reported to be ‘strongly interested’ in a Serie A player, but his price tag is proving to be a major point of dispute.

The Toffees are already actively pursuing one player from the Italian league. That man is Kalidou Koulibaly. New Everton boss Rafael Bentitez signed the Senegal international for his current club Napoli. The Spaniard reportedly urged his bosses to maintain their interest in the centre-back after he had been a target for former manager Carlo Ancelotti.

Latest reports indicate that a €35m bid was submitted for Koulibaly on Wednesday evening. But the Italians immediately rejected this.

Napoli are reportedly looking for a fee of at least €60m. Therefore, Benitez may have to give up hope of getting one of his main targets.

However, there is an alternative on his radar. According to Calciomercato, the player in question is Juventus’ Merih Demiral.

Everton have been linked with Demiral before in the past few months and seemingly are at the top of the pack of chasing parties.

But their interest has now intensified to a higher level, potentially because of the cost signing Koulibaly would incur.

Turkey international Demiral does not come cheap either, though. And that is where the issues lie in negotiations.

The reports says the Toffees are yet to make an offer that would ‘satisfy Juventus’ requests’.

Those requests total to a figure of €40m. They’ve come to this amount because they still have €10m of outstanding debt for the player, and they want €30m profit from him.

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Reports have already suggested this is an unrealistic expectation and Juve could be forced to lower it if they want to cash in on the 23-year-old.

Along with Everton, a number of other Premier League sides have shown an interest. Tottenham’s new sporting director Fabio Paratici was reportedly eyeing up a raid on his old club.

Elsewhere, Leicester and Liverpool have been named in connection too. None of those potential suitors appear keen at doing at deal for that sum, though.

Demiral and keeper on Toffees list

Meanwhile, Everton are waiting for Benitez’s ‘final decision’ after the club closed in on a bargain deal for a Championship star, according to a source.

The goalkeeping situation at Everton had come under the microscope under former boss Carlo Ancelotti.

Jordan Pickford has always been Gareth Southgate’s first choice with England. However, a series of errors at club level had thrust his starting spot into doubt.

Loanee Robin Olsen tried to impress in Pickford’s absence. The Swede did little to displace Pickford in the long run, though, and has returned to Roma.

But now they could have found a replacement…

READ MOREBenitez to make final decision as Everton talks ‘progress’ over savvy transfer