By Will Butcher
Everton are one of a number of clubs credited with an interest in Montpellier attacker Ryad Boudebouz, according to a report.
French outlet Maxifoot claim the 27-year-old has caught the attention of the Toffees with his sparkling form for Ligue 1 outfit Montpellier, having a hand in 20 goals this season.
Scoring 11 against the likes of Monaco, Marseille and Paris Saint-Germain, the Algeria international has also provided nine assists for 2011-12 Ligue 1 champions Montpellier.
It is believed that £12.6million is enough to sign the former Bastia star, with Lyon, Lazio, Roma, Villarreal, Celta Vigo, West Bromwich Albion and Newcastle also said to be keen.
Able to play as a number 10, on either flank or as a centre-forward himself, Boudebouz is in the form of his life as he continues to prove successful in the final third.
Used largely as a number 10 by manager Jean-Louis Gasset, Boudebouz is known for his speed and his ability to keep the ball close to his body when in possession.
His ability to glide past defenders and provide inch-perfect ammunition for Montpellier’s strikers makes him one of Ligue 1’s most feared attackers.
With his contract set to expire in the summer of 2019, Ronald Koeman could look to bring Montpellier’s number 10 to Goodison Park as he continues to shine in France’s top tier.
Football Insider verdict:
Everton are in need of talent out wide ahead of the summer transfer window. With no timescale put on Yannick Bolasie’s recovery from a season-long knee injury, the Toffees are also likely to lose Aiden McGeady and Gerard Deulofeu in the summer, as the duo remain out on loan at Preston and AC Milan respectively. With Enner Valencia only on loan from West Ham, that leaves Koeman’s options in the final third rather threadbare. Bringing in Boudebouz, who has proven he has what it takes to perform and create something out of nothing in the top flight, would be the answer to Koeman’s problems at a reasonably cheap price.
In other Everton transfer news, this 27-year-old could be brought to Goodison Park in a cheaper deal than previously expected.