Everton are set to join Chelsea in the race to snap up Jamie Vardy’s signature.
Everton are looking at potential options to fill Romelu Lukaku’s void, and manager Ronald Koeman believes Vardy will be the ideal replacement for the Belgian. However, after Diego Costa’s imminent departure to Atletico Madrid, Chelsea are also in the hunt for a striker.
As reported by The Mirror, the 2015/16 champions are all set to place a whopping £40million bid for Jamie Vardy. But Everton are looking to hijack the Englishman’s move to Stamford Bridge by offering Leicester a better deal.
Having already spent £150 million this summer, Koeman wants to add to his attacking repertoire as he aims to break into the top four this season.
Vardy turned down an offer from Arsenal last summer, and recently signed a new £100,000-a-week contract with the Foxes. However, both Chelsea and Everton are confident that the 30-year old will be interested in signing a contract that offers him a bigger paycheck.
Everton might believe they have the upper hand in signing Vardy, since Leicester talent spotter Steve Walsh is now director of football at Everton.
The Toffees were previously targeting Olivier Giroud and Christian Benteke, but Koeman has turned his attention elsewhere since none of those moves came to fruition. Everton were also in talks with Chelsea to discuss a move for Diego Costa on loan as Koeman admitted that the Spaniard would be welcome at Everton.
Everton will probably be more desperate to sign Vardy, since, after Lukaku’s departure, they haven’t found a like-for-like replacement. Wayne Rooney is back with the Toffees, but Koeman knows that Rooney will be most effective in the no.10 position.
20-year old Dominic Calvert-Lewin impressed in Everton’s 1-1 draw at Manchester City, but expecting him to come good week in-week-out is a tall ask. They need a striker who can inject pace, run the channels and guarantee 15 goals a season. And in that respect, there are not many better than Jamie Vardy in the Premier League.
With the signing of Gylfi Sigurðsson and the return of Wayne Rooney, Jamie Vardy would be the final piece of the attacking jigsaw for Koeman. However, Chelsea will leave no stone unturned in their pursuit of Vardy, and with the transfer window slamming shut within three days, where he ends up remains to be seen.