Man Utd, Everton both chasing Lille forward but wary of €65m asking price

Manchester United and Everton are both said to be tracking Lille’s Jonathan Ikone ‘closely’ – but any deal for the forward will come at a premium.

The 21-year-old has been a regular fixture for the Ligue 1 outfit this season, starting all but two of his side’s 28 league games.

Despite hardly being prolific, scoring just three goals, he has added six assists and his all-round game is rated very highly in France.

Indeed, Ikone made his international debut for France back in September, finding the net just eight minutes after coming on to seal the win for Les Bleus over Albania during a Euro 2020 qualifier.

The player’s stock has continued to rise throughout the course of a temporarily postponed season, and Le Quotidien Du Foot in France now reports that he has attracted interest from ​United and the Toffees, along with Sevilla in Spain.

The report adds that fellow Ligue 1 side Lyon made an approach for Ikone during the January transfer window, but no deal ever materialised as Lille were searching for upwards of €65m for his services.

The recent decision to postpone Euro 2020 until 2021 may also make Ikone think twice about moving at this stage of his career, as he will be keen for regular first-team football ahead of the championships.

However, despite that, Le Foot reports that a departure during the summer is ‘envisaged’.

But with the player continuing to impress since the close of the January window, Lille are expected to try and hold out for a similar figure to the one Lyon were quoted in January.

 

 

​United are on the lookout for a right-sided attacker, although Jadon Sancho remains the favourite to land that role at Old Trafford – meaning Ikone could be used a rotational player under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Carlo Ancelotti is also on the hunt for fresh attacking talent, with the Everton boss not fully convinced that the likes of Theo Walcott, Alex Iwobi and Bernard can take the club to the next level in 2020-21.

Meanwhile, Venezuela international Yeferson Soteldo has responded to speculation suggesting he has been approached by Everton by admitting he “dreams” of playing for Manchester United.

The 22-year-old playmaker has been earning rave reviews for Santos playing in the No 10 role and has scored 10 times and weighed in with seven assists in his 47 appearances so far for the club after making his name in the Chilean league for Huachipato. Read more…