By Wayne Veysey

28th Dec, 2016 | 1:15pm

Koeman: Everton are interested in signing this attacker in January

By Harry Sykes

Ronald Koeman has revealed that Everton are interested in signing Charlton winger Ademola Lookman in January.

The Dutchman made the admission when discussing January transfer targets at a press conference on Wednesday afternoon.

Asked specifically about Everton’s reported pursuit of the 19-year-old, Koeman said, as quoted by the Liverpool Echo reporter Neil Jones, that “there is interest in the boy, yes”.

Koeman’s decision to go public with Everton’s interest in landing the teenager suggests that a deal could be close to being struck with League One outfit Charlton.

The Independent reported earlier this month that Toffees director of football Steve Walsh has identified Lookman as the best replacement for injured wide man Yannick Bolasie.

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The £30million summer signing from Crystal Palace has been ruled out for the rest of the season after suffering a knee ligament injury earlier in the month against Manchester United.

This has prompted Koeman to intensify his search for a winger in January and it is reported that a fee rising to £11million would seal the signing of Lookman, who has also attracted reported interest from Arsenal, Liverpool, Crystal Palace and Celtic.

The south London club rejected a £6million bid from rivals Palace in the summer, but it is stated now that manager Karl Robinson has no other options but to sell Lookman in January.

The youngster has been a regular on the left wing for Charlton this season and his haul of six goals and two assists from 25 matches in the team currently positioned 12th in the third tier has prompted admiring glances from the elite clubs.

Football Insider verdict:

Lookman would be a fine medium-term capture for Everton but it would be stretching credulity to claim he is the natural replacement for Bolasie. In the short-term future, at least. The England Under-20 international has tremendous potential but is learning his trade in the lower leagues and has never been tested in the top flight. The wings are a particular weak spot for the Toffees with none of their current senior players performing on a consistent level. Koeman should swoop for Lookman to beef up the club’s medium-term options but he also needs a proven Premier League performer for the second half of this season.

In other Everton transfer news, the Toffees have been installed as favourites to sign this £20million-rated centre-back.