Everton will not pursue Anderlecht midfielder Leander Dendoncker despite being offered to sign him this month, according to a reliable journalist.
Freelance reporter Paul Brown, who also works for the Express, claimed on his personal Twitter account on Saturday that the Toffees have been watching the four-times Belgium international but will not want to pay £25million to land him.
It is understood that instead, Everton have their sights on strengthening other areas of their squad.
Re Dendoncker: #efc have watched him and he was offered to them but understand club not keen to pay £25m for another midfielder when they have more pressing needs elsewhere
— Paul Brown (@pbsportswriter) January 27, 2018
Dendoncker, 22, won the Belgian Jupiler League title with Anderlecht last season and has continued to play an important first-team role for them this term.
He has shown that he is not only able to play in midfield, as he has started to feature as a ball-playing centre-back since around October as Anderlecht looked to curb a poor run of form both in domestic and European competitions.
And now it seems, in a major development in the hunt for Dendoncker’s signature, that the Toffees will not be the team to push forward and make a move.
Football Insider verdict
Everton could really do with another centre-back in their squad and while Dendoncker is naturally a midfielder, he has shown in the past couple of months that he can do a decent job in the heart of defence. Sam Allardyce does not strike as the sort of manager who would want a ball-player in his back four though and would rather have someone who can just stand in the backline and win the ball back. Dendoncker is also decent at playing in front of the defensive line, although the Toffees do have a good amount of bodies in that area. For £25million, Everton are better off signing another striker or a natural centre-back.