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Who is Lucas Joao, the Reading striker Everton have been linked with?

The Blues, having failed to secure any of their top targets, are scraping the bottom of the bargain barrel now.

Reading v Stoke City - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images

One by one all the forward targets Everton have been linked with over the month have either moved to other clubs or else chosen to stay where they are. Now, with just a handful of hours left before the close of the January transfer window, the Toffees still have no signings to show for the month while every single club around them in the Premier League has strengthened.

If anything, with the departure of Anthony Gordon, the Blues are actually even weaker than they were entering the window. Considering the attack was already their fatal flaw for the first half of the season, this would all but guarantee that Everton will remain in the relegation zone where they already sit by the time the warmer months roll around.

Deadline day has been an unmitigated disaster so far, though there remains a slight beacon of hope here as the Blues are being linked with Reading’s giant striker Lucas Joao. The 6’4” Portuguese-born centre forward joined the Royals for about £5 million in 2019 from Sheffield Wednesday and since then has 43 goals and 14 assists in his 107 appearances for the Championship side.

The powerfully-built player has five goals in 24 appearances this season for 16th placed Reading, and will be a free agent this summer so should come at a discount. He also hasn’t played a full ninety minutes since October ‘22, so this seems more like a wind-up than a real transfer rumour, but this is what has come to pass for the Toffees.

Don’t hold your breath, because if this one does go through it has the potential to be the worst striker signing since Denis Stracqualursi.