Everton are looking at the former Stoke City and West Ham United striker Marko Arnautovic as a possible emergency January signing as they face up to the battle to stay in the Premier League.
Arnautovic, 33, is currently at Bologna in Serie A and was a target for Manchester United during the summer when the club were desperate to add an experienced striker to their ranks. Everton had an agreement in place to sign the Dutch attacker Arnaut Danjuma on loan from Villarreal over the weekend but this week that deal was taken off them by Tottenham Hotspur.
Everton face losing Anthony Gordon to Newcastle United, as revealed by Telegraph Sport, with a big deal likely to prove irresistible for the club even if the current £60 million asking price is steep. Along with Demarai Gray, Gordon is the club’s joint leading goalscorer this season with three. Scoring goals has been a major problem for the club so far.
The Gordon sale would presumably finance a deal for Arnautovic who – in terms of his contract – would be looking at two years as well as this season. Everton are currently without a manager after sacking Frank Lampard this week.
Arnautovic has been relatively successful at Bologna with a return of 22 goals in 47 league games and the club are 12th in Serie A. A mercurial, if occasionally frustrating, talent he spent six years in the Premier League between 2013 and 2019 at Stoke City and then West Ham. His departure from West Ham over the first half of 2019 began with a prospective move to China that the club answered with a new contract. He had been the player of the year the previous season. He eventually left for what was then Shanghai SIPG for around £23 million
Another striker to whom Everton might turn – at the other end of the age spectrum – is Watford’s Brazilian striker Joao Pedro who, at 21, has already played in England for four years. His current injury makes him a less likely candidate. Pedro has been out since Boxing Day with an ankle ligament problem. Before then he was a regular in the Watford side currently third in the Championship. He had been tracked by a number of clubs in the lower half of the Premier League clubs.