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Koeman goes to Spain on scouting trip

Everton manager attended Malaga game

Malaga CF v Club Atletico de Madrid - La Liga
Sandro Ramirez of Malaga CF
Photo by Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images

After Everton’s futile trip to Wales, manager Ronald Koeman hopped on a plane with Director of Football Steve Walsh to go watch Malaga take on Celta Vigo in La Liga action Sunday night.

The Mail reports that the target for the Everton boss is Malaga striker Sandro Ramirez, who has hit a rich vein of form recently. He currently has 16 goals and 3 assists in 29 appearances for the club in all competitions.

The 21-year-old is a product of the famed La Masia Barcelona Academy, and was released at the beginning of the 2016-17 season on a free transfer. He has a total of 32 appearances with the Blaugrana, scoring seven goals with a further 15 for the Barca B team in 61 games.

His performance against his former club a month ago in which he scored the opening goal so enraged Barcelona players that Luis Suarez apparently went over to him to say “Don't forget the hand that fed you”. To his credit, Sandro apologized if his celebration offended his former teammates and fans, but threw in a barb of his own saying “Now I'm indebted to Malaga”.

Sandro Ramirez Characteristics
WhoScored.com

Everton have been searching for a reliable back-up for Romelu Lukaku, but with the Belgian refusing to sign a contract extension it is likely he will leave at the end of the season and Koeman is going to have to look at getting a couple of options to replace Lukaku’s goals.

The Dutchman was seen talking to Gines Carvajal, who is Gerard Deulofeu and Sandro’s agent, during the game with the striker scoring the third in a 3-0 romp. With a release clause of just £5.2m there has been plenty of interest in the player, with Tottenham Hotspur, Southampton and newly promoted Newcastle all having scouted him this season.

PS - While the Mail says that Sandro’s agent is Gines Carvajal, TransferMarkt have it as GoalKick Sports Management, who are interestingly also the agents for defender Alessio Romagnoli who the Blues were linked with just yesterday.