Everton Eyes Free Transfer for £20m Ace Moussa Dembele

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Everton is reportedly in the running to sign Moussa Dembele, the former Celtic striker, from Ligue 1 giants Lyon. According to Fabrizio Romano, the former France U21 international is set to leave Lyon for free, sparking interest from the Toffees.

Dembele’s performance at Lyon has been a mixed bag, with the forward breaking the 20-goal barrier in three of his five seasons at OL. However, in the other two seasons, he managed to score only four times in 44 games combined. This inconsistency may be a factor in why Dembele, once linked with Europe’s top clubs, is now being considered by Everton.

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Lyon confirmed last week that Dembele, who they once paid £20 million for, will leave on a free. Everton faces competition from Galatasaray, with both clubs aware of the deal’s conditions. Despite the potential of a larger package in Saudi Arabia, the Paris-born 26-year-old seems open to a move back to Britain after spells at Fulham and Celtic.

According to Foot Mercato, Dembele had discussions with former Toffees boss Frank Lampard in January. However, Everton, under pressure from Financial Fair Play restrictions, had to step back due to the fees demanded by Lyon. A similar situation occurred when Everton failed to sign Danny Ings from West Ham.

The fact that Everton is still in the race for Dembele, five months later, suggests that Sean Dyche might be willing to continue where Lampard left off. Everton averaged less than a goal per game during a disappointing 2022/23 campaign. Despite his inconsistencies, Dembele could still be a significant upgrade on Neal Maupay and an injury-hit Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

Aston Villa and Southampton were also linked with Dembele. However, Villa seems to be prioritizing other options, and Southampton, having returned to the Championship, can no longer seriously compete.

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