By Coral Barry
Everton sent scouts to watch Newcastle’s Georginio Wijnaldum with a view to making a move for the attacker, according to a report.
Koeman is reported to be on the verge of a move to Everton to become their new manager and is thought to be a big admirer of his compatriot.
Newcastle’s relegation into the Championship severely soured an impressive debut season in England for Wijnaldum and the Mirror report Everton have stepped up their interest in the player.
The 25-year-old played and starred in Holland’s 2-0 victory over Austria on Saturday scoring his country’s second goal and it is claimed Everton scouts were watching from the stands.
As well as Everton, Southampton, West Brom, Arsenal and Sunderland were all at the game, although it is reported that the Saints were the only one of the four checking out Wijnaldum.
The Holland international is just one year into a long-term contract with Newcastle and is tied to the club until 2020.
However, Newcastle are expected to make a few adjustments in the summer as they prepare for life in the Championship and may be tempted to part ways with one of the star players if an attractive offer comes in.
Wijnaldum arrived from PSV in the summer for £14.5million and would be expected to fetch upwards of that fee after finishing the season with 11 goals in the league and as Newcastle’s top scorer.
But, Rafael Benitez has already insisted he has final say on transfers and that the club will not be forced into the sale of any of its big hitters.
The attacking midfielder also chipped in with five assists during the campaign and told press while on international duty this week that he wanted to play at the highest level.
“Of course I want to play at as high a level as possible, in the Premier League, with a beautiful club – but not everything always goes the way you want,” said Wijnaldum, as quoted by the Mirror.
“I will see what happens. The strange thing is that I have very nice statistics for a midfielder, despite relegation.
“I was one of the best midfielders in the Premier League, only the numbers were worthless. That was a shame.”
In other Everton news, one of Southampton’s key players could be set to follow Koeman to Goodison.