By Harvey Byrne
Everton are closing in on the signing of Lyon winger Rachid Ghezzal after it was revealed they had begun discussing personal terms with the player, according to a reliable journalist.
Khaled Karouri, an experienced journalist for French publication Foot Mercato, claimed on his personal Twitter account that the Toffees had entered talks with the representatives of the 24-year-old.
Karouri’s post on Thursday afternoon translates as: ‘Info: discussions have finally started between staff of Rachid Ghezzal and Everton. No agreement yet but discussions.’
The Tweet follows claims from French outlet Le 10 Sport that the Toffees were closing in on the signing of Lyon winger Rachid Ghezzal after submitting a bid of £11.3million.
It is said that the deal could be “settled quickly” as Everton appear on the verge of landing their second winger of the week following the £28million signing of Yannick Bolasie from Crystal Palace on Monday.
French newspaper L’Equipe claimed on Tuesday of last week that West Ham had offered for £6.8million plus bonuses for the Lyon attacking midfielder.
The Sun subsequently claimed that Everton manager Ronald Koeman would better the Hammers’ opening bid and Ghezzal is now close to becoming the club’s fifth senior summer signing.
Aulus revealed on Monday that Everton had tabled the initial Ghezzal bid on Saturday and said it wouldn’t be easy for Lyon to retain his services.
“With Ghezzal, keeping him will not be easy, there are requests,” Aulas told French Broadcaster RTL on Sunday, as quoted by football site Tribal Football. “Everton made a very attractive offer yesterday.”
The Lyon academy graduate has six Algeria caps, scoring his first goal for El Khadra against Ethiopia.
Ghezzal has made 81 Lyon appearances in all competitions after signing with the French giants when he was just 12 years old.
He made his debut at just 20 years of age against Israeli club Ironi Kiryat Shmona, and has scored 11 goals during his Les Gones career.
Everton have made four signings this summer, with Bolasie, goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg, defender Ashley Williams and midfielder Idrissa Gueye arriving through the Goodison Park gates.
In other Everton transfer news, Yannick Bolasie has revealed that Romelu Lukaku has been “badgering him for ages” to move to the Toffees this summer.