By Harry Sykes
Everton are keeping close tabs on in-form Aston Villa striker Jonathan Kodjia, according to a report.
The Mirror claimed in the Monday printed edition of their newspaper (page 49) that the Merseysiders have renewed their interest in the Ivory Coast international.
The Mail reported last summer that Everton had set their sights on Kodjia but he subsequently signed for Villa for a Championship-record £15million from Bristol City.
The cash-rich Premier League club have reportedly once again turned their attention on the prolific Championship front man as they assess how to overhaul their front line this summer amid doubts over the futures of four of their current forwards.
The Merseysiders are aware that Villa could be vulnerable to losing Kodjia if they fail in what is an against-the-odds late battle to secure promotion to the Premier League.
Kodjia has been outstanding during the Midlands club’s impressive run of seven wins and a draw from their last nine league matches.
The 27-year-old has scored eight goals in eight matches to lift his tally for the season to 19 league strikes from 37 matches.
Former Birmingham captain and Midlands football expert Martin O’Connor told BBC Radio West Midlands that Kodjia is now rated in the £20million bracket.
Everton will be in the market for new forwards this summer amid considerable doubt over whether Romelu Lukaku will still be at the club next season after he delivered the bombshell last month that he will not sign a new contract.
In addition, Enner Valencia’s loan from West Ham expires at the end of the season, Arouna Kone is out of contract in the summer and Gerard Deulofeu is loaned out to AC Milan after struggling to win the favour of manager Ronald Koeman.
In other Aston Villa news, talks are to get underway as a proven Premier League performer wants to join the Midlands club.