It’s not exactly a secret that Everton are on the hunt for a left-back this summer.
Leighton Baines’ ageing legs means he can no longer be relied upon to go a full season without injury while he has also been forced to reign in lung-busting forward runs of old.
Last summer’s botched transfer splurge left us without a back-up left-back, resulting in the ever-willing but technically limited Cuco Martina filling in. So it’s no surprise that Marcel Brands and Marco Silva had made that position a priority.
A number of names have already been linked. Celtic’s Kieran Tierney was high on the shortlist but Everton baulked at his asking price.
Hertha Berlin’s Marvin Plattenhardt and Wendell from Bayer Leverkusen were linked before the World Cup, while interest in Rennes’ Ramy Bensebaini was dismissed as quickly as it was reported.
Barcelona full-back Lucas Digne is also believed to be attracting Everton’s interest as they consider a wide range of options.
The first is Lazio’s Jordan Lukaku. Yes, Romelu’s little brother.
Transfermarkt value Lukaku at around €7million with just a year left on his current deal at Lazio.
Would big bro Rom recommend Jordan to move to Goodison? And is Jordan as vocal about his ambition and future career plans as Romelu? It would certainly make things interesting.
The other name believed to be on the shortlist is Inter Milan’s Dalbert Henrique.
The Brazilian defender can also play left midfield so is comfortable on the ball and going forward.
The 24-year-old only moved to Italy from Nice last summer and so still has four years remaining on his contract.
However, he struggled for first team football at the San Siro, making just five starts, so may well be open to a move.
Transfermarkt value Dalbert in the region of £10.8m, which would comfortably be within Everton’s budget
That takes the number of left-backs linked to seven, and I’m sure there are plenty more we haven’t heard of yet.
But with less than four weeks to go until the transfer window shuts, time is already starting to run out.