Everton have been handed a second shot at landing a rising Bayern Munich striker due to a former Premier League star exceeding all expectations.
Carlo Ancelotti has Everton firmly entrenched in a battle for European football. The blue half of Merseyside’s chances have suffered a blow after going winless in their last five league outings. Nevertheless, hopes are high of once again bringing European football back to Goodison Park.
A key factor behind the club’s resurgence under their Italian manager has been their savvy navigation of recent transfer windows.
Summer recruits the likes of Allan and Abdoulaye Doucouré have added steel to the midfield, while James Rodriguez has brought creativity in the final third.
The club reportedly looked to continue their recent successes in the transfer window by landing Bayern striker Joshua Zirkzee in January.
The 19-year-old Dutch youth international – who stands at an imposing 6ft 4in tall – had grown frustrated at his lack of opportunities behind Robert Lewandowski. As such, a number of clubs registered interest in the winter window.
Ultimately, Parma secured his services on a loan deal, but the latest report has indicated Zirkzee could once again be on the move this summer.
Lewandowski remains as lethal as ever despite his advancing age. But the surprise name of former Stoke frontman Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting also now stands in Zirzkee’s way.
Choupo-Moting’s career took a remarkable step upwards when leaving Stoke for PSG in 2018. The 32-year-old then signed a one-year deal with Bayern in October. Since then, he has become an integral part of the squad.
The Cameroon international has played a part in each of Bayern’s last 13 league matches playing anywhere across the front-line.
His rise will see Zirkzee move ‘out of the picture’, opening the door for Everton to reignite their interest, should they so desire.
Everton lose pace in full-back pursuit
Meanwhile, Everton’s hopes of landing the impressive Max Aarons are fading after West Ham joined the race to sign the Norwich City full-back.
Aarons was one of the brighter sparks from the Norwich team that suffered relegation from the Premier League last season. The full-back attracted interest from a range of European clubs including Bayern Munich and Roma. But he ultimately stayed put at Carrow Road.
That has proven beneficial for Norwich. The Canaries have now secured automatic promotion back to the top flight at the first time of asking.
But Aarons may not be a part of the group that has another crack at Premier League football. According to the PA news agency, he has been told he can leave for the right price.
It is understood that the Canaries want £30m for the England under-21 international. Everton are among his admirers but the latest development is that Aarons would rather stay in the south of the country.
Therefore, West Ham are on alert. They currently have Vladimir Coufal and Ryan Fredericks as their man options at right-back. Academy graduate Ben Johnson can play in either full-back role and has also had some opportunities in the first team.