Everton have joined local rivals Liverpool and under-fire Arsenal in the chase to sign want-away West Ham defender Winston Reid.
The 26-year-old New Zealand international has demanded a huge salary increase in any new contract offered by the Upton Park outfit and it looks as though the club are now ready to cash in on their star centre back.
Reid arrived at the Boleyn Ground in 2010 and has been attracting admiring glances ever since but the attention around his future has increased in line with some solid displays and the need for quality defensive reinforcements at some of the Premier League’s so-called bigger clubs.
Everton have had a disappointing start to the season and that has largely been down to the defensive frailties at Goodison Park.
Having conceded 23 goals in 15 games, only QPR, Burnley and Leicester boast worse records, and Roberto Martinez is keen to address the situation as soon as possible.
Reid’s West Ham contract expires in the summer and while the notoriously frugal Arsene Wenger could be tempted to bide his time alongside Liverpool’s Brendan Rodgers, who has already invested heavily in his squad, Martinez could snap Reid up on the cheap in the New Year in a deal that would be more tempting to the Irons’ board.
Everton’s slow start to the campaign has seen them slip to 12th in the table and as a result the odds on a top four finish for the Toffees has crumbled.
At one stage Martinez’s men were as short as 6/1 to secure Champions League football but a run of three winless games, in which they have conceded four goals, has seen his side drift out to 14/1.
A Europa League spot may already be the best Everton can hope for but defensive additions of Reid’s ilk are a must if those ambitions are to be realised.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
Fancy a flutter? Sign up today to claim up to £25 in free bets.