By support

26th Jul, 2016 | 1:17pm

Report: Everton's £12.5m target set for shock U-turn, four-year contract tabled

By Will Butcher

Marko Arnautovic could be set to complete a surprise U-turn and sign a new four-year deal with Stoke despite interest from Premier League rivals Everton, according to a report.

Sky Sports reported on Tuesday morning that Toffees manager Ronald Koeman was working towards a deal that would see Everton meet the rumoured £12.5million release clause in the Austrian’s contract.

However, Sky Sports Austria are now reporting that Arnautovic is considering a four-year deal from Stoke manager Mark Hughes, as the Welshman looks to secure his star-man’s long-term future.

The news comes as a surprise, with Arnautovic expected to consider any Everton offer as he has only 12 months remaining on his Britannia deal.

Arnautovic, who usually plays wide in a front three at Stoke, has scored 19 goals and supplied 26 assists in 110 matches for the club.

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The 27-year-old did not score at Euro 2016 for Austria but has netted 11 times in 55 matches for his country.

Everton are keen to bolster their attacking options, as Romelu Lukaku’s future remains in doubt and Senegalese striker Oumar Niasse edges closer to a move to Turkish giants Galatasaray, according to Turkish newspaper Fanatik.

The Merseysiders have turned their attention to Arnautovic after Graziano Pelle snubbed them to move from Southampton to the Chinese Super League. The only senior player Koeman has signed to date has been veteran goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg.

In other Everton news, Koeman is locked in a two-way battle for this Napoli star.