By Danny Wright
Everton are facing a battle with Brighton for AC Milan’s Gianluca Lapadula, according to a report.
Italian news outlet Calcio Mercato claims that the newly promoted side have approached Milan with “tentative enquiries” for the Italian international.
However, it is understood that both Everton and their Premier League rivals Brighton are likely to miss out on the 27-year-old as he is “not keen” on a move to England and that playing in the country’s top-flight does not concern him at this moment in time.
Sky Sports reporter Gianluca Di Marzio has pictured Everton director Steve Walsh at AC Milan on Wednesday on his personal Twitter account.
— Gianluca Di Marzio (@DiMarzio) June 14, 2017
Di Marzio later reported on his personal website that talks took place between the Toffees and the Rossoneri about Lapadula, Carlos Bacco and M’Baye Niang, who has recently been on loan at Watford.
It is also understood that there will be developments in the coming days.
Lapadula earned his first senior Italian cap in May when he scored a hat-trick in the 8-0 mauling of San Marino in an international friendly.
That came after spending a season in and out of the AC Milan first-team squad, where he made 29 appearances across all competitions and scored eight goals.
Football Insider Verdict
Lapadula certainly doesn’t come across as one of the top European strikers that Everton should really be looking at. There’s no way the Italian could be expected to come into Goodison Park and earn regular first-team football under Ronald Koeman – he simply isn’t good enough for that level. Brighton, on the other hands, look to be a much better fit. Lapadula will certainly earn more Premier League minutes at the AMEX as they currently don’t have a striker who is up to that standard of football. Lapadula’s goal scoring record isn’t great and Everton need to be looking at someone with at least 15 goals this season to replace Romelu Lukaku, who looks destined to leave Merseyside.
In other Everton news, this proven top-flight player is set for a medical with the Blues on Wednesday night.