By Will Butcher
Everton are favourites to sign forward Sandro Ramirez after a sublime season in Spain’s top tier that has seen him shine for Malaga, according to the latest bookmakers’ odds.
Ladbrokes claim the Toffees are as short as 3/1 to sign the 21-year-old striker, who has fired 16 goals in just 29 league and cup encounters as well as laying on another four assists.
Premier League rivals Liverpool and Tottenham are second and third in the betting order, with Jurgen Klopp’s side backable at 4/1 while Spurs are slightly further out at 9/2.
Spanish sides Atletico Madrid, Villarreal and Sevilla are also credited with a price, while Newcastle, Southampton and Stoke are some way off Ronald Koeman’s side.
Spanish publication Sport claimed last month that the ex-Barcelona star has a release clause worth just £5.1million and that could see the Toffees make a move to sign him this summer.
Ramirez only joined Malaga in the summer on a free transfer after failing to make a breakthrough at Barcelona, but has since proven Luis Enrique’s side that they wrong to do so.
The three-time Spain international has a contract with Malaga until the summer of 2019, but is expected to leave in the summer as he continues to be widely reported as interesting clubs around Europe.
Football Insider verdict:
Everton would finally provide Romelu Lukaku with adequate back-up after failing to do so in recent transfer windows. Former manager Roberto Martinez tried to use Oumar Niasse as his second-best striker behind Lukaku, but the £13.5million signing from Lokomotiv Moscow struggled and has since been loaned to Premier League rivals Hull City. Similarly, Enner Valencia was brought in on loan from London side West Ham, but has been used more out wide rather than as a central striker, leaving the pressure on Lukaku to bang home the goal for the Merseyside outfit. With Lukaku’s future in doubt, Ramirez could be brought in as a cheap alternative to even replace the Belgium international this summer.
In other Everton transfer news, Koeman has looked to steal an early march on his rivals in signing this 23-year-old Premier League star.