By Matt Farr
Everton manager Ronald Koeman is set to re-ignite his pursuit of Burnley goalscorer Andre Gray this summer, according to a report.
The Mirror claim that the Toffees had made an initial approach to sign the 25-year-old attacker towards the end of last season, but are now set to step up their interest ahead of the new campaign.
Gray scored 10 goals from 36 appearances in all competitions for Burnley last season, but has been heavily linked with a move to a bigger club in the coming months.
The former non-league star has just one year left to run on his current contract at Turf Moor, but negotiations have yet to begin between the two parties over an extended stay.
However, manager Sean Dyche may be prepared to let his star striker leave the club this summer, and is set to demand a fee of at least £10million for his services, although the club will not be forced into the sale.
Gray is a valuable player for the Clarets, although he is not considered an indispensable asset after Dyche elected to drop him from the starting eleven for three of their final four games of the Premier League season last term.
Everton and Koeman, meanwhile, are targeting further reinforcements to their side as the Dutchman continues his overhaul of the first-team squad.
Koeman has already spent a combined £53.5million to sign goalkeeper Jordan Pickford and midfielder Davy Klaassen this summer, and Malaga attacker Sandro Ramirez is likely to be the next man through the door.
However, despite the imminent arrival of Sandro, who will bolster Everton’s options in the final third, Koeman could still sanction a move for Burnley’s Gray.
Football Insider verdict
Gray would be a fine addition to the Everton squad. He’s proven he can score goals for a team battling at the bottom end of the Premier League, and he would no doubt relish the opportunity to test his abilities with a side in the top-half. Competition for places at Everton could be high next season, but if the club lose star striker Romelu Lukaku – which appears likely – there will be a vacancy to fill leading the line. Interest in Gray will also be high, but Everton have the financial muscle, and a spot in European competition, that could see them trump their rivals.
In other Everton transfer news, Phil Jagielka believes this will happen at the club over the summer.