By Harry Sykes

Everton have tabled an £8.5million bid for Standard Liege striker Ishak Belfodil, according to a report.

Sky Sports claimed on their transfer centre bulletin on Tuesday that the Merseyside club have made a formal move for the 24-year-old.

Everton are expected to be one of the busiest Premier League clubs in the January window as they look to strengthen a squad that has had a mixed campaign.

“It is shaping up to be a very busy January at Goodison,” reporter Dharmesh Sheth said on Sky Sports’ transfer centre on Tuesday. “We are told they are interested in the Standard Liege striker Ishak Belfodil. One source claims they have made an £8.5million bid for the Algeria international.”

The major offer demonstrates how keen manager Ronald Koeman is to bolster his front line and provide cover for undisputed first choice Romelu Lukaku.

Belfodil, who has earned 14 Algeria caps, has been in fine form for Belgian outfit Standard Liege this season, scoring nine goals and supplying four assists in 21 matches.

With Arouna Kone hit badly by injuries and £13.5million flop Oumar Niasse in talks to join Hull on a loan-to-buy deal, a back-up striker is needed.

Belfodil joined Standard last summer on a free transfer and signed a two-year contract that runs until the summer of 2018.

Football Insider verdict:

The doomsday scenario for Koeman is if anything happens to key man Lukaku. Without him, Everton would lose much of their attacking threat and it is clear they need reinforcements. Bringing in a striker with the pedigree that Belfodil possesses could even get the best out of Lukaku, as it will keep him on his toes by providing top-quality competition. With his contract at Standard set to end in 2018, Belfodil could be allowed to leave the Belgian outfit for a bargain price as they look to prevent losing him on a free next season.

In other Everton transfer news, Koeman is also eyeing a move for this 34-time England international.