By Harvey Byrne
Everton have withdrawn from the race to sign Manchester United forward Memphis Depay, according to a report.
The Liverpool Echo has claimed that the Toffees have made the decision to pull their interest on the 22-year-old, despite Ronald Koeman going public with his interest in the Holland international.
It is stated that the Toffees were interested in a loan move for the player, but Manchester United were unwilling to let the man they signed for £31million in the summer of 2015 leave for a divisional rival.
It is now believed that Depay is closing in on a move to Ligue 1 giants Lyon.
The report does state that Everton are still eager to boost their forward ranks in January and they are reluctant to let Gerard Deulofeu leave, who is attracting interest from Europe.
The Merseyside club have looked short in the wide attacking areas this season following Yannick Bolasie’s long-term injury suffered in December.
The Toffees currently have Deulofeu, Kevin Mirallas, Aaron Lennon, Ademola Lookman and Enner Valencia battling for the wide spots and Koeman is keen to add more.
Football Insider verdict:
Depay could have proven a good signing for Everton after struggling at Manchester United, but it looks as though the Red Devils made the decision for the Toffees. The young Holland international was once considered one of Europe’s brightest prospects and a move to a new club could have seen him rediscover his early form. However, the Merseyside club must now turn their attentions to alternative targets. The likes of Mirallas, Lennon, Deulofeu and Valencia aren’t good enough to start for a top 10 Premier League side each week, while Lookman is too young to make an immediate impact on the squad. Koeman has already added Lookman and Morgan Schneiderlin to his side this window and he must now go out and secure a wide attacker to improve on the squad left by former boss Roberto Martinez.
In other Everton transfer news, Romelu Lukaku has responded to reported interest from Chelsea.