Everton want to double the £33m they spent on Amadou Onana with the club braced for interest from Premier League rivals this month.
The Toffees’ continued financial uncertainty – a proposed takeover by US group 777 Partners remains with the Premier League more than three months after an agreement was struck with Farhad Moshiri – means that they have to take a practical view of potential sales.
But i has been told that does not mean the club need or want to cash in on their star assets. i revealed last month that Everton have slapped a £100m price tag on defender Jarrad Branthwaite, who is being tipped for an England call-up in the spring – and Onana would be similarly pricey, especially with a January premium applied to his fee.
Everton also have to factor the 20 per cent sell-on clause that was agreed in the deal struck with Lille in 2022.
That is why the club believe a realistic price for the 22-year-old would be in excess of £60m, a fee benchmarked against the £58m that Chelsea spent on his compatriot Romeo Lavia in the close season.
So far there has been no contact and no talks with any of Onana’s potential suitors.
Arsenal have been most heavily linked but Manchester United and Chelsea are also understood to be keen. i understands that Newcastle United are also admirers of a player who has impressed in a much-improved Everton side this season.
Arsenal’s problem is that their spending power is constricted by potential Financial Fair Play restrictions, with one Premier League insider telling i “they have no money to spend” without outgoings.
That all means that a summer move is much more likely although sources tell i a sizeable offer that meets Everton’s demands could yet tempt them.