Everton in three-horse race for £20m-rated hitman as Koeman recruitment drive continues - report
By Matt Farr
Everton have joined the race to sign Arsenal attacker Olivier Giroud this summer, according to a report.
The Sun claim that Toffees manager Ronald Koeman has identified the 30-year-old goalscorer as the next item on his summer shopping list, having already spent well over £50million on reinforcements.
French giants Marseille and Premier League rivals West Ham are also said to be interested in securing the signature of the experienced goalscorer.
Giroud has proven his worth to the Gunners in the goalscoring department since his move from Ligue 1 outfit Montpellier in 2012, but he has still fallen out-of-favour at the club ahead of the new season.
The France international scored 16 goals from 40 appearances in all competitions for Arsenal during the 2016-17 season, but with the north London club in the market for a new goalscorer, Giroud faces an uncertain future.
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Everton, meanwhile, are also considering adding even further firepower to their ranks in the coming months, despite having already agreed a deal to sign Malaga attacker Sandro Ramirez.
Koeman is faced with the prospect of losing star striker Romelu Lukaku to Chelsea in a deal close to a £100million, and he wants to use his profit to front a £20million move for the unsettled Giroud.
Lukaku, 24, netted an impressive 26 goals for Everton last season, but he was often left unsupported in front of goal, with no other player in the Goodison Park camp scoring more than six goals in all competitions.
The Sun report also claims that Everton’s £25million deal for Burnley defender Michael Keane will also be completed within the next 24 hours.
Football Insider verdict
Giroud would be a fantastic signing for Everton, because he has a proven goalscoring pedigree at both Premier League and international level. The Frenchman has repeatedly been challenged to fight for his place as Arsenal’s premier centre-forward and leading attacker in recent seasons, and their lack of faith in his ability is a great concern for him. With a World Cup year on the horizon in 2018, Giroud’s chances of making the France squad will be reduced if he wastes away on the substitutes bench at Arsenal, so a move to Everton to replace Lukaku could be ideal.
In other Everton transfer news, a Ligue 1 midfielder has been pictured at the club after reportedly agreeing a two-year-deal.