Time is quickly running out if anyone wants to sign Napoli’s Manolo Gabbiadini, with neither Southampton or Everton quite able to get the deal over the line yet.
The latest reports indicate the Saints are the more keen, but are only willing to bring in the striker on a loan-deal.
It’s believed the south coast club would stump up £5m to sign Gabbiadini temporarily, and see how he adapts to English football before committing to an offer.
But Napoli are said to prefer an upfront offer of around £20m, and both the Italian and Premier League sides are eager to avoid a repeat of the situation that occurred between West Ham and Simone Zaza.
The Hammers had a temporary agreement in place with Juventus for the striker, but a dismal spell in London ensured the forward returned to Turin at the earliest opportunity.
But Southampton’s reluctance to go all in might be where Everton sneak the advantage.
Having already splashed out over £20m on Morgan Schneiderlin and another £10m on Charlton wonderkid Ademola Lookman, the Toffees are making serious moves under Ronald Koeman.
And the acquisition of Gabbiadini could be just what’s required to ensure Everton put real pressure on the Premier League’s top six.
The striker has struggled for game-time in Naples this season, but has still bagged three goals from 13 Serie A appearances.
The 25-year-old has been with Napoli since January 2015, and has collected six caps for Italy.
But onto more pressing matters and while Everton have a weekend off, Southampton are in Emirates FA Cup action.
Having already secured one trip to Wembley with next month’s EFL Cup final, the Saints will be hoping to maintain a bid for a cup double.
Arsenal are the Fourth Round visitors to St Mary’s this weekend, and we make Claude Puel’s men 5/2 for victory.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing