According to Argentinean outlet Ole, Everton are ‘waiting to advance’ for Nico De La Cruz this summer and may have to battle Borussia Dortmund to bring the 22-year-old to Goodison Park.
De La Cruz has a €22m (£19.24m) ‘exit clause’ and his sale would see River Plate make back more than twice what they’ve invested – $3m (€2.77m) (£2.43) + $6m (€5.54m) (£4.86m) = $9m (€8.31m) (£7.29m).
The 22-year-old joined River from Liverpool FC Montevideo in 2017 and has gone on to make 79 appearances in all competitions, scoring 11 goals and making 20 assists.
De La Cruz has had a hand in 10 goals from 18 games this season and could be an improvement on Gylfi Sigurdsson – the 30-year-old might be moved on this summer after scoring just one goal in 26 Premier League appearances this campaign.
Sigurdsson earns £5.2m-a-year/£100k-a-week at Everton and has struggled for consistency this season, so the Toffees could make him available for sale in the coming months.
Under Marcel Brands, Everton are looking to replace ageing deadwood with young talent. De La Cruz would fit the bill perfectly, but it remains to be seen if they can beat Dortmund to his signature.
The 22-year-old is also one of many attacking-midfielders on Everton’s radar – Jesse Lingard, Philippe Coutinho, James Rodriguez, Jack Grealish – so time will tell if a deal materialises.