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Everton to step up chase for Celtic contract rebel

| 18.01.2014

Everton are set to take advantage of the speculation surrounding Georgios Samaras’ Celtic future by making a January move for the Greek international striker.

Samaras, who has been with the Scottish champions since 2008, is out of contract at the end of the current campaign and is yet to agree an extension to his current deal at Park Head.

Everton are in the market to boost their striking options following the departure of Nikica Jelavic to Hull, with Roberto Martinez currently lining up a bid for the former Manchester City striker.

The Toffees have been linked with moves for Stoke City’s Kenwyne Jones and highly-rated Belgian striker Michy Batshuayi but Samaras, who has hit seven goals for Celtic this season, appears to be at the top of their list of targets to support on-loan Romelu Lukaku.

And with the Belgium international due to head back to Chelsea for next season, Martinez will be keen to bolster his options ahead of the new campaign, with Samaras fitting the bill.

But Everton are set to face stiff competition for the Greek forward with Atletico Madrid and Trabzonspor both interested in the targetman.

The 28-year-old has made 156 appearances for the Bhoys since sealing a permanent move from Manchester City following a successful loan spell, scoring 64 goals in nearly sixs year at the club.

He has featured in three SPL title winning sides, won two Scottish Cups and a League Cup in his time north of the border and this winning mentality could prove invaluable to an Everton side chasing Champions League football and the FA Cup.

The Merseyside club are 5/1 with Ladbrokes to finish in the top four and qualify for Europe’s premier club competition for this first time since 2005 and they are on at 8/1 for Martinez to lift the cup for a second straight season.

Everton are currently one point behind rivals Liverpool in the race for fourth but Samaras, who has plenty of Champions League experience from his time in Glasgow, can add even more firepower which could see them over the finishing line.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Oliver Yew