Everton eye 16-goal English striker as potential Lukaku replacement - report
By Derek Smithson
Everton are considering a move for Leicester forward Jamie Vardy if they lose Romelu Lukaku this summer, according to a report.
The Daily Express claim that Toffees ace Lukaku, 24, is in the middle of a £100million “tug of war” between Manchester United and Chelsea.
It is understood the Merseyside club are lining up England international Vardy as a potential replacement, who scored 16 goals across all competitions last season.
The report details that the 30-year-old only signed a new £100,000-a-week deal at the King Power Stadium last summer, but could now be tempted to leave.
Vardy is believed to be close with Everton’s Director of Football Steve Walsh too, with the pair previously working at the Foxes.
Subscribe to Football Insider TV now
The striker rose to fame from non-league to the Premier League a few seasons ago and proved his qualities by helping Leicester win the 2015/16 league title.
He suffered a slight drop in form during the last campaign alongside several of his teammates, but still chipped in with 16 goals and seven assists in 48 appearances across all competitions.
Meanwhile, Lukaku was in remarkable form at Goodison Park last season and that has seen the top clubs circle for his signature.
The Belgian forward scored 26 goals and supplied seven assists in 39 matches.
Football Insider verdict:
Everton’s priority this summer should be trying to keep hold of talisman Lukaku as he will be crucial if they want to break into the Champions League places. However, he seems destined to move on in the near future and manager Ronald Koeman may need to find a new star striker. Leicester ace Vardy is an interesting choice and would be a different proposition to Lukaku. The England man doesn’t have the same physical presence in attack, but is a willing runner and has shown in recent years that he can be prolific in front of goal. Everton would be best served spending targeting proven Premier League strikers if they do raise £100million from a Lukaku sale and Vardy could turn out to be a smart buy.
In other Everton transfer news, they are in the race to sign a French midfield wonderkid.