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Everton linked with club record bid for striker

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This deal would certainly raise eyebrows if the Toffees pull it off

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Lille OSC v Girondins Bordeaux - Ligue 1 Photo by Sylvain Lefevre/Getty Images

Everton are the latest club to be linked with a move for Lille striker Nicolas Pepe as Marco Silva looks to strengthen his forward line.

The Telegraph report that the Toffees are considering a move for the Ivory Coast international but are likely to have to pay a club record 65million euros (£58.5m) to sign him.

That would smash the current record of £45m paid to Swansea for Gylfi Sigurdsson two years ago.

Pepe was one of the breakout stars in France last season, scoring 22 Ligue 1 goals to finish second in the top scorers charts behind PSG’s Kylian Mbappe.

That has inevitably led to transfer speculation linking Pepe with a big money move away from Lille this summer.

A number of top European sides are rumoured to be interested in the forward with Liverpool apparently leading the chase.

As a result, Everton’s interest is something of a surprise and the deal would certainly raise eyebrows if they pull it off ahead of seemingly more illustrious rivals.

Any transfer is unlikely to be imminent as Pepe is still away at the Africa Cup of Nations. But it is certainly one to get excited about.

The report claims Ajax’s David Neres is also a target despite the Brazilian appearing to commit his immediate future to the Dutch side for now.

Barcelona’s Malcom is another option, with latest reports suggesting Everton may now seek a loan deal for the former Bordeaux forward. Lyon’s Bertrand Traore was mentioned earlier this summer but it seems he is further down the shortlist.