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29th Aug, 2017 | 1:38pm

Everton handed boost as club close in on seven-figure deal for international forward - report

By Harve Byrne

Everton have been handed a boost in their hunt for Hajduk Split striker Nikola Vlasic after he was given permission to leave training with the Croatia Under-21 side, according to a report.

The Daily Mail have claimed via their website that the Toffees are closing in on a seven-figure £8million deal for the 19-year-old, who has already been capped once at senior international level by Croatia.

The Mail report follows claims made by the Daily Mirror’s northern reporter David Anderson via his personal Twitter account that Vlasic was close to moving to the Merseysiders and thus ending manager Ronald Koeman’s search for a new striker to replace Romelu Lukaku.

However, now that he has been allowed to leave the Croatia Under-21’s it is a clear development that he could be holding a Toffees shirt before Thursday’s transfer deadline.

The Mail report does though say that if Everton do bring in the teenager then he could be sent back out on loan.

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The Croatia international has already played 119 times in total for Hajduk Split, returning 12 goals and 20 assists, including playing 175 minutes of the Europa League qualifying matches against the Toffees.

Football Insider verdict:

Vlasic is far from the quality needed to perform for the Everton first team and make an instant impact in their side and therefore if the Toffees do bring in the teenager then they still may go out and bring in a further forward to add to Ronald Koeman’s options ahead of Thursday’s transfer cut-off. However, Everton could also be securing a bright young talent and given the amount of first team options at his age he is certainly worthy of being considered by the Toffees and at just £8million there is no harm in bringing him in.

In other Everton transfer news, the Toffees bringing in this 12-goal powerhouse is a real possibility.

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