By Harvey Byrne
Everton are in talks with Napoli to sign striker Manolo Gabbiadini, according to a report.
Sky Sports claim on their website that the Toffees are in discussions with the Serie A club, who want £25million for their 24-year-old forward.
It is believed that Everton have stepped up their interest in Gabbiadini after Arsenal beat them to the signing of Deportivo La Coruna striker Lucas Perez.
Sport Italia television expert Ifredo Pedulla claimed on his website that talks between Everton and Napoli took place on Friday in England about striking a deal.
Pedulla reports that Everton upped their offer to £19.2million but Napoli are holding out for £21.3million.
The quick 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, Celtic and Newcastle have been dealt a huge blow to their hopes of signing Toffees midfielder James McCarthy.