By Dominic Toner
Everton are considering La Liga forwards Cedric Bakambu and Willian Jose as replacements for Romelu Lukaku, according to a report.
The Sun claim that Ronald Koeman is looking at forward options for next season and is lining up the £50million pair, who are both playing in Spain this season.
It is understood that Bakambu and Jose are expected to move in the summer window and would command fees of more than £25million each.
The report details that the Toffees are bracing themselves for life without Lukaku, whose future is in doubt after contract talks broke down.
Everton have been heavily reliant on their first-choice striker Lukaku this season, who has scored 22 goals in just 30 appearances across all competitions.
He has become a crucial player at Merseyside club in their battle to compete at the top-end of the Premier League table, but Koeman may be forced to find a new goal scorer next season.
Bakambu is currently playing for Villarreal and has managed just four goals this season, but injuries and participation in the Africa Cup of Nations have disrupted him.
However, the 25-year-old striker proved his qualities last campaign by netting 22 times in 51 appearances for the Spanish club.
Meanwhile, Real Sociedad forward Jose has been in great form this season.
The 25-year-old Brazilian has scored 11 goals in 26 appearances, but is currently sidelined through injury.
Football Insider verdict:
Everton certainly do need to bolster their forward options in the summer and will need a few players if Lukaku moves on. Koeman should do everything he can to keep Lukaku at Goodison Park as he can help the club compete at the top-end of the table. However, there will need to be major investment in that area and the £50million speculation for the La Liga pair are a signal of intent. Both Bakambu and Jose have proved they can score goals in Spain’s top-flight, but are yet to test themselves in English football. Everton would be better served by chasing players with more experience of the Premier League and not take the gamble with players from abroad.
In other Everton transfer news, the club are close to sealing a midfielder deal.