Everton manager Ronald Koeman has identified Stoke City attacker Marko Arnautovic as a potential new signing and the Goodison Park club have opened negotiations to sign the Austrian according to The Daily Mail.
The talented attacking midfielder has impressed for Mark Hughes’ men over the last 12 months and scored a number of important goals against major teams in the Premier League last season.
However, widespread reports state that Arnautovic has a £12.5 million buyout clause in his current Stoke contract and is reluctant to extend his stay in the Potteries.
Koeman is expected to be given money to spend after taking over on Merseyside, with the former Inter Milan forward a potential new face.
They have just mentioned Arnautovic to Everton on @SkySportsNewsHQ.
At least we are taking Stoke’s best pic.twitter.com/76ip6uRtOY
— EFC Round Up (@EFCroundup) July 26, 2016
The report suggests that Everton are ready to allow £13.5 million signing Oumar Niasse to move to Galatasaray on loan this summer, despite the African attacker only being on the Toffees’ books since January.
Arnautovic would be an exciting addition for Everton and a loss for Stoke, but his presence would negate the Toffees’ usual width in attacking areas.
The Austrian likes to cut off his wing and get involved in play centrally, while Everton’s current wide options such as Aaron Lennon and Gerard Deulofeu prefer to hug the touchline.
Niasse arrived at Goodison with a lofty reputation but quickly became something of a joke figure as Roberto Martinez was reluctant to use his new striker from the bench, even if Everton were chasing a game.