Vlasic claims Everton were saving No 19 shirt for top striker

Date published: Thursday 26th October 2017 6:47 - Robert McCarthy

Everton star Nikola Vlasic claims that the club reserved the No 19 shirt for Diego Costa, when they were hoping to sign the striker.

Costa was the subject of interest from Everton and AC Milan during the summer transfer window but eventually opted to leave Chelsea for former club Atletico Madrid – despite not being able to play for the Spanish giants until January due to their transfer ban.

Vlasic, who joined the Toffees for £8million from Hadjuk Split in the summer, had revealed to 24sata that he opted for the No 27 shirt as No 19 was being saved for Costa.

“No 27 was free, I wanted 8 but Ross Barkley wears it, while the club was keeping 19 for Diego Costa,” Vlasic said.

Ronald Koeman, who brought Vlasic to the club, was sacked as Goodison Park chief boss on Monday following a run of results that had left the Toffees in the bottom three.

And Vlasic was “sorry” to see the Dutchman leave the club as he got on well with the Barcelona legend.

“I’m sorry that Koeman got sacked, because he bought me and we had a really good relationship, but that’s football,” Vlasic added.

“Everton is a great club for young players like Jordan Pickford, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Ademola Lookman, Tom Davies, me. We all get chances; I’m satisfied.”

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