Marcel Brands and Marco Silva can show Everton’s intent to bridge the gap between the top six and the chasing Premier League pack by landing Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha.
According to the Evening Standard, the Blues are willing to rival Arsenal in the race for the Ivory Coast forward, with Palace facing a fight to retain his services after he informed the Eagles of his desires to join the Gunners.
The 26-year-old made his feelings clear to the Selhurst Park side after returning to London from this summer’s Africa Cup of Nations, and stated that he wants to join an elite side to prove to himself that he can compete at the top.
Zaha continues to be haunted by his disastrous spell with Manchester United between 2013 and 2015, and feels he can only get over the worst patch of his career by showing what he can do with a side bigger than Palace.
The Eagles are not in a position where they must sell, having tied the forward down to a £130,000-a-week contract in November that does not expire until the summer of 2023.
Arsenal are also his preferred choice, but the Emirates Stadium natives’ £40million offer was rejected earlier this month, and their improved bid is yet to be made.
The North London side are not the only team that would appeal to the 9-cap international, though, as he would consider other ventures if the Gunners cannot reach an agreement with Palace.
It remains to be seen if Everton would be to his taste given our lack of European football, while what bid the Blues board are considering for a player Crystal Palace value as high as £100million is not yet known.
Although Ademola Lookman’s rumoured move to RB Leipzig is expected to be finalised soon, and the £22.5million raised from the winger’s departure is due to be immediately reinvested.
Using those funds to land Zaha would show that Everton have the pulling power to convince players eying the elite sides that Goodison Park is a place where they can thrive and achieve their goals, while also helping us to move closer to the top six.
The gap last season sat at twelve points when the final whistle of the term blew, with Everton holding more defeats than all of the sides who finished above us and the second-worst record for taking points after falling behind, highlighting our need for another game-changer.