By Harvey Byrne
Everton will battle Southampton for Monaco striker Valere Germain, according to a reliable journalist.
The Toffees are reportedly in the market for a new centre-forward this window with star Romelu Lukaku facing little competition in the team.
The Guardian claimed on Wednesday that the Merseyside club had settled a £10.4million fee with Standard Liege for Ishak Belfodil.
But, French football expert and Goal journalist Robin Bairner shared on his personal Twitter account that Ronald Koeman’s side will lock their horns with his former club for Germain.
Southampton & #Everton will battle to sign Monaco attacker Valere Germain. His contract expires in 2018 & currently no talks ongoing.
— Robin Bairner (@RBairner) January 12, 2017
The Monaco striker has 18 months left on his contract and it is believed that there are no current talks between the player and the Ligue 1 side.
Germain broke through the Monaco youth team, marking his senior debut in 2011 in a league match against Saint-Etienne.
He has played in 168 matches for the club in total with a return of 41 goals and 21 assists.
He has already made 30 appearances for Leonardo Jardim’s side in all competitions this campaign and has helped his side battle at the top of the table with nine goals and four assists.
Football Insider verdict:
If the battle comes down to who can offer Germain more first team football than Southampton would win hands down. Everton currently boast star Lukaku upfront and the Monaco forward is unlikely to displace him from the starting line-up. Meanwhile, the Saints have struggled for goals this season with the joint third worst tally in the league after failing to replace both Graziano Pelle and Sadio Mane in the summer. However, Germain’s goal record would suggest that the player is not the answer for either side. Both clubs now have highly reputable scouting set-ups and there has to be a better, younger option currently breaking through.
In other Everton transfer news, the Toffees have secured their second loan-to-buy deal in days.