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Big Money Moves Are On The Horizon For Everton

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - APRIL 23: Ronald Koeman manager of Southampton looks on during the Barclays Premier League match between Aston Villa and Southampton at Villa Park on April 23, 2016 in Birmingham, United Kingdom. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

The Farhad Moshiri era at Everton is well underway following the appointment of Ronald Koeman earlier this week.

The former Ajax, PSV Eindhoven, Valencia and Benfica coach was lured north by a lucrative contract but also the promise of the biggest transfer budget in Everton’s history.

New Everton boss Koeman is to be handed a club record £100m transfer kitty plus the proceeds from the sale of any players this summer as he looks to revamp an underachieving squad which lumbered to an 11th place finish last season.

Centre midfield has been identified as a key area for the 53-year-old manager to address and reports are linking Everton with big money moves to solve their midfield problems.

The Liverpool Echo believes Everton are considering making a move for Dutch midfielder Kevin Strootman.

Strootman has been deployed as both a defensive midfielder and a box-to-box midfielder during his career and is well known for his ability to clean up play. Strootman is tough in the tackle but also able to push the play forward, scoring 34 goals in 227 career appearances, and would be a welcome addition to the Premier League.

The tough tackling midfielder, often linked with Manchester United, joined Roma from PSV Eindhoven in 2013, but has barely featured due to persistent injury woes. Roma may be prepared to offload the midfielder should they receive a sizeable fee, and if Radja Nainggolan linked with Chelsea, stays at the club.

Everton are prepared to offer £30m for Strootman who has two years remaining on his contract.

However, having already lost Miralem Pjanic to Juventus, it is unlikely Roma would let another of their star midfielders go, especially considering Strootman has finally returned to full fitness.

Meanwhile Koeman may decide to pursue a deal for Axel Witsel currently at Zenit Saint Petersburg, the international colleague of Everton players Romelu Lukaku and Kevin Mirallas.

Axel Witsel, who played in central midfield for Belgium in their 2-0 defeat by Italy on Monday, has spent four years in Russia and is keen on a move to the Premier League.

Zenit, who reached the knock-out stages of last season’s Champions League, want Witsel to remain in Russia and are prepared to offer him a lucrative new deal to extend his four-year stay, though Witsel has declared his desire to quit Zenit.

The midfielder, currently at Euro 2016 with Belgium, played in 41 matches last season, scoring six goals and making six assists. It’s believed Zenit would want to recoup a sizeable part of the €40m fee they paid to activate Witsel’s buyout clause at Benfica in 2012, should he depart Russia.

Recovering balls, tackling, aerial duels, passing, dribbling and technique are all things Witsel excels at and Everton are willing to spend up to £35million on the Belgian, as a solution to their midfield problems.

The new-found financial power at Everton is making for an exciting transfer window on Merseyside. It will be interesting to see if Everton can attract Strootman and Witsel to join the club this summer.

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Author: The PA Team

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