Reports say that Ronald Koeman wants Graziano Pelle. How far he will go to get his man is something we are about to find out in the coming days.
Local paper the Liverpool Echo reported late yesterday that Everton have opened preliminary discussions with a view to signing the Italian forward. He has one more year on his contract with Southampton, but unconfirmed reports say that £16m is the magic number required to snatch the player away.
The striker, who turns 30 in just over a week, has previously played for Koeman at Feyenoord in the Eredivisie, and last season with the Saints in the Premier League. Pelle also has 17 senior caps with the Italian side, scoring seven goals in the process.
With reports yesterday saying that Romelu Lukaku is set to stay, it’ll be interesting to see how Koeman plans to utilize the two strikers, who both play a strong, physical game.
Also to be seen is how that plays out with squad players Arouna Kone and Oumar Niasse, neither of whom have impressed in spot duty.
There is additional interest in Pelle after an excellent Euro 2016 campaign in which an under-strength Italy side over-achieved in a remarkable manner, in no shortage due to the strong shifts put in by Pelle and his compatriots. As an advanced forward charged with putting pressure on the opponents trying to play out of defence, Pelle’s workrate was on display in the 2-0 win against Spain as he time and again closed down Sergio Busquets and choked off any moves from the back.
The player is currently on holiday after the Italians’ exit from the tournament, and he will make his choice of the European and Chinese clubs chasing him when he returns next week.