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3rd Jul, 2017 | 3:44pm

Koeman determined as Everton pursuit of £20m-rated forward intensifies - report

By Abigail Withey 

Everton manager Ronald Koeman is determined to sign Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud this summer, according to a report.

Portuguese news outlet A Bola has claimed that the Toffees boss has intensified his pursuit of 30-year-old forward and is willing to table a bid of £20million in a bid to find a replacement for goal machine Romelu Lukaku.

The report reveals that Lukaku is close to signing a deal with Premier League rivals Chelsea, and that Koeman is keen to replace him quickly by putting Giroud to the top of his target list.

It is said that the Dutch manager believes that Arsene Wenger will be more willing to sell the French ace if his international team mate Alexandre Lacazette moves to the Emirates this summer.

If Lacazette were to join the Gunners it would knock Giroud down in Wenger’s pecking order and see less regular first team starts.

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The report comes just days after the Sun revealed that Everton had entered the race for the forward, but now Koeman looks to have made Giroud his priority.

Giroud made 40 appearances for the noth London club last season, he netted 16 goals and provided seven assists which could prove useful to Koeman in his bid to finish within the top four of the Premier League next season.

Football Insider verdict

Giroud would fail to fill the void of Lukaku, if the Belgian decided to leave during the summer transfer window. Although Giroud has shown he is a competent striker throughout the years at Arsenal, he simply wouldn’t match the ability of the Toffees’ top scorer. Last season Giroud scored 16 goals in 40 appearances, whereas Lukaku managed an impressive 26 goals during 39 games which shows the discrepancies between the pair. While the Gunners star would provide a good back-up for Lukaku, it’s unlikely that he’d be able to replace him, therefore Koeman should look for a younger striker with more potential. Giroud is six years older than Lukaku, and the likelihood is that he’s already peaked. If the Dutch manager is aiming to contend for the title he needs to continue his search for a replacement, more like Monaco’s Kylian Mbappe. With Lukaku looking likely to cost in the region of £100 million, it would give Koeman enough funds to recruit an expensive promising star from overseas.

In other Everton transfer news, a Ligue 1 midfielder has been pictured at the club after reportedly agreeing a two-year-deal.

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