Everton set for negotiations to sign new striker who is “a handful to deal with”

The striker continues to be linked with a move to Goodison Park.

Everton reportedly remain interested in signing Salernitana forward Boulaye Dia in the summer transfer window, and could use Neal Maupay as part of any deal.

Are Everton signing a new striker?

The Blues have been on the lookout for attacking reinforcements since the end of last season, with more quality in the final third something that has to be addressed ahead of the new Premier League campaign after scoring just 34 top-flight goals last season.

El Bilal Toure is one player who has been linked with a move for Goodison Park, but he has instead opted to join Atalanta, acting as a blow for Everton.

Another target who has also been seen as a primary target is Dia, though, who caught the eye for Salernitana last season, scoring 16 goals and chipping in with six assists in Serie A. It was a highly impressive first season there, having initially joined on loan from Villarreal, but his temporary move has now become permanent.

Despite this, a move away this summer doesn’t look out of the question, with a new update suggesting that there is one Everton player who could help a move to Merseyside come to fruition.

Do Everton still want to sign Boulaye Dia?

According to Tutto Salernitana [via Sport Witness], Everton aren’t willing to pay the player’s €25m release clause but have “asked” to hold a meeting with Salernitana sporting director Morgan De Sanctis to discuss a potential deal.

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Maupay is seen as someone who could become a key part of any move, with the Frenchman someone who the Italian outfit “like a lot”, having been “one step away” from heading there last summer. The report also states that Salernitana want any potential transfer to be done and dusted in the next 10 days, rather than negotiations going on for too long.

This is certainly a positive update from an Everton perspective, not only giving them hope that they could sign Dia this summer, but also getting Maupay off their wage bill at the same time. He has been a big disappointment since arriving from Brighton last year, producing a poor return of just one goal and assist apiece in 29 appearances for the Blues.

For that reason, he may not be any real loss, and instead, they could be acquiring the signature of a more prolific player in Dia, having scored six goals in 25 appearances for Senegal at international level, netting once at the 2022 World Cup. Back in 2020, Senegal and former Liverpool forward Sadio Mane spoke highly of the forward, saying:

“I didn’t know him before. But since the start of the season I started to follow him, and I’m really impressed by his qualities. I think he won’t stay at Reims forever, believe me!”

Meanwhile, journalist Josh Bunting highlighted a key asset of Dia’s, saying:

“Boulaye Dia the key man for Salernitana a goal and two assists so far since joining, a handful to deal with due to his hold up.”

To be praised for such a big figure in his country’s history speaks volumes about what Dia could be capable of in an Everton shirt, and his aforementioned assist tally last season shows that he is more than just a goalscorer. There still looks to be plenty to do, in order for the transfer to happen, but the Maupay factor is an added bonus, and it would be exciting to see Dia lining up for the Blues when they host Fulham in their Premier League opener next month.

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