Everton are considering an improved £22.5million offer from RB Leipzig for Ademola Lookman, according to the Daily Mail.
The Bundesliga side had returned to Merseyside looking to complete their failed 2018 summer raid with an opening £13million proposal, but saw their initial bid rejected by Blues chiefs.
Julian Nagelsmann’s German outfit are now understood to have upped their proposed package to £18million with £4.5million in add-ons, which Everton are said to be considering.
Lookman’s future at Goodison Park has been in doubt for some time, after the 5 ft 7 winger failed to build on his strong loan spell at the Red Bull Arena Leipzig to cement a place for himself in Marco Silva’s plans during the boss’ inaugural season at the helm.
Reports surfaced in May suggesting the Portuguese head coach had sanctioned Lookman’s permanent exit amid speculation that Southampton were preparing a £20million offer, as Ralph Hasenhuttl was thought to be keen on reconnecting with the winger following their time together at Leipzig.
AFC Bournemouth and Leipzig were also linked with potential swoops earlier in the summer, after the Saxony club saw a string of bids reject last year.
A then-Ralf Rangnick managed Bundesliga side had looked to retain Lookman’s services with a £25million plus add-ons package, but the Toffees held firm in their reluctance to sell for anything less than £28m plus add-ons.
Now accepting a combined £22.5million fee would present a decline in value for Everton, but the 21-year-old was unable to convince Silva that he was worthy of selection last season, making just five starts across all competitions.
The boss must now decide if things will be different next term, otherwise he risks Lookman’s valuation continuing to decline, as another year on the fringes at Goodison Park will see the former Charlton talent enter the final year of his £23,000-a-week Everton contract, and potentially start to ponder the benefits of running his deal down to leave as a free agent.