Frozen out: Everton and West Ham set to battle for ostracised PL 28-year-old - report
By Will Butcher
Wilfried Bony has been shortlisted by three Premier League clubs as Everton look to bring in a potential replacement for Romelu Lukaku, according to a report.
The Sun claim Bony is also on West Ham and West Brom’s transfer radar, despite plummeting down the Stoke City pecking order while on loan from Man City at the Britannia Stadium.
Belgium international Lukaku has repeatedly been linked with moves away from Goodison Park after reportedly refusing to sign a new contract with the Merseyside outfit.
That could see manager Ronald Koeman enter the transfer market for a replacement in the summer, with Bony seen as a potential alternative to former Chelsea ace Lukaku.
Bony is set to return to the Etihad at the end of the season after failing to impress at Stoke, and Pep Guardiola’s side are willing to take a hit on the £25million they paid Swansea for him.
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However, the Ivory Coast international still has two years remaining on his current deal and will still prove costly in both transfer fee and wages should the Toffees want him.
Making just 10 Premier League appearances this season, Bony has found the back of the net only twice against former club Swansea in October.
Football Insider verdict:
There is no doubt that Bony is capable of producing the sort of form that can fire Everton to the top six. The former Vitesse Arnhem forward was the Premier League’s most prolific striker in the calendar year of 2014, and if he is still able to produce his brilliant best then he is a bargain at around £15million. However, Bony is some way off this season’s Premier League top goalscorer in Lukaku, and a first-team replacement must be brought in if Koeman wants to properly replace an outgoing Lukaku. Falling down the pecking order beneath the likes of Peter Crouch, Jonathan Walters and Mame Biram Diouf means Bony has some proving to do, but he would certainly be a good signing should he move to Merseyside.
In other Everton transfer news, the Toffees want this £12m-rated right-back to replace crocked Seamus Coleman.