Everton have emerged as a potential suitor for Southampton outcast Mario Lemina, according to the Express.
The Blues are currently searching for Idrissa Gana Gueye’s successor, with the Senegal international expected to sign a five-year contract with Paris Saint-Germain after Toffees chiefs accepted a €32million (£28.6m) bid by the Ligue 1 giant.
1.FSV Mainz 05 midfielder Jean-Philippe Gbamin is believed to be Marco Silva’s number one target to replace the 29-year-old, but the Express understand Lemina is now on Marcel Brands’ shortlist as well after Saints boss Ralph Hasenhuttl axed the Gabon midfielder.
Arsenal, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Leicester City have also shown an interest in the 25-year-old, according to the Mirror (July 25, 17:29), but it has been noted he is holding out to see if Manchester United will make a move.
The Red Devils have shown interest previously, but are yet to make a move on the player Southampton value at £20million two-years after he joined from Juventus.
Wolves are also targeting deals for AC Milan striker Patrick Cutrone and Real Madrid’s Jesus Vallejo, which could see the Molineux outfit with too many plates to juggle if Everton step in with an approach for Lemina.
The Express consider Goodison Park to be a viable destination for the 15-cap international, who featured in 21 Premier League games (18 starts) during the 2018/19 campaign.
Lemina’s minutes at St Mary’s declined massively following Hasenhuttl’s arrival in the winter having been a regular starter under Mark Hughes, as the 6ft defensive midfielder suffered an abdominal strain at the turn of the year, which sidelined him for the best part of four months.
Prior to the blow, the sought-after outcast assisted Danny Ings’ consolation goal at Goodison Park as we beat Southampton 2-1, and returned to score a consolation goal as the Saints lost 3-1 at Newcastle United.
The efforts against us and the Magpies were the only goals Lemina was involved in last season, with the 25-year-old only playing 13 key passes and taking on 25 shots – 15 of which came from outside the box and returned his goal at St James’ Park.
The defensive midfielder also attempted 68 tackles during his 21 top-flight outings, winning 49, while intercepting possession 43 times and blocking 24 passes, three shots and one cross.
Lemina also featured against Everton in the Carabao Cup last season as Southampton eliminated the Toffees on penalties, before crashing out to Leicester City in the following round.