Koeman kickstarts Everton revamp with £8.5m midfielder swoop after Witsel collapse - reports
By Will Butcher
Everton are looking to kick-start their summer makeover by bringing in Fiorentina midfielder Milan Badelj, according to a report.
This comes after Zenit central midfielder Axel Witsel ruled out a move to Merseyside, as he closes in on a switch to Serie A side Napoli.
Badelj’s impressive Euro 2016 performances for Croatia thave tempted Koeman into making a bid.
Italian publication Football Italia claim that a bid in the region of £8.5million is enough to sign the former Hamburg midfielder, which would provide the Toffees with a much cheaper alternative to Witsel.
Everton have been linked with a whole host of European talent this summer, after manager Ronald Koeman was handed a huge transfer kitty by new owner Farhad Moshiri.
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The Dutchman is keen to improve the squad that he inherited from Spaniard Roberto Martinez and push for European qualification in the coming season
Badelj made 35 appearances for Fiorentina last season, and is known for his tough-tackling and a combative display. This season he picked up 11 yellow cards and one red card for his club side.
The continued pursuit of a central midfielder could spell the end for the likes of Darren Gibson and Muhamed Besic, who are considered as squad members rather than first-team regulars.
Badelj, who has represented his country at every possible age group, began his career with Croatian giants Dinamo Zagreb before moving to Hamburg.
In other Everton news, Koeman is intent on bringing through Everton’s youth.