By Dominic Toner
Everton have ended their pursuit of Manolo Gabbiadini, according to a report.
Sky Italy journalist Gianluca Di Marzio claimed on his website that the Toffees have told Naploi that they are no longer interested in signing the 24-year-old forward.
The report details that too much time has passed without an agreement being reached so Everton have decided to end negotiations after the Italian side expressed their reluctance to sell until they find a replacement.
The Mail claimed that Everton had tabled a £21million bid for Gabbiadini after having an initial bid of £19.3million rejected by the Serie A side last week.
It is said that Gabbiadini had been targeted as Everton want cover for Romelu Lukaku with Oumar Niasse heading for the exit and Arouna Kone likely to follow.
It is believed that Everton had stepped up their interest in the Napoli ace after Arsenal beat them to the signing of Deportivo La Coruna striker Lucas Perez.
But the Merseysiders’ interest in Gabbiadini now appears to be over.
The versatile forward has scored 20 goals in 61 appearances for Napoli since his move in January 2015, including four goals in just six Europa League matches last season.
He started Napoli’s first game of the season against Pescara before being substituted in the 53rd minute for new signing Arkadiusz Milik. Gabbiadini was demoted to the bench in Napoli’s most recent match against AC Milan, where he was an unused substitute.
Gabbiadini graduated through Atlanta’s youth academy, and he has scored one goal in his six appearances for the Italy national team, which came against Romania in 2015.
The Italian striker has three years left on his current contract at the Serie A side.
Ronald Koeman is keen to bring in a striker this summer, as when Romelu Lukaku missed the start of the new campaign the Dutch manager had to use natural wideman Gerard Deulofeu upfront on his own.
In other Everton transfer news, Juventus have a pre-contract agreement for the club’s target.