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Everton enter race for Xherdan Shaqiri as Stoke pull out?

Everton, 11/4 with Coral for a top six finish this season, will target Inter Milan and Switzerland attacker Xherdan Shaqiri after he snubbed interest from Premier League rivals Stoke City, according to reports in Italy.

Toffees boss Roberto Martinez is looking to add creativity to his squad and, although he has brought Barcelona’s Gerard Deulofeu back to Goodison Park permanently, doubts remain about the futures of Ross Barkley and Kevin Mirallas.

Wealthy Ligue 1 outfit Monaco are expect to step up their pursuit of Belgium forward Mirallas after selling his compatriot Yannick Ferreira Carrasco to Atletico Madrid.

England international Barkley, meanwhile, may be the subject of renewed interest from Manchester City now that fellow Three Lions player and Aston Villa skipper Fabian Delph rejected their advances.

Kosovo-born Shaqiri can play off either flank and in advanced midfield areas, meaning if Everton do lose either Barkley or Mirallas then his prospective signing would cover such a gap. Check out his top five goals below:

The Toffees cannot expect to get a clear run at former Bayern Munich man Shaqiri, however, as Hoffenheim (who sold star player Roberto Firmino to Liverpool) and Schalke are both keen to bring him back to the Bundesliga.

It has been a difficult six months at Inter for Shaqiri, with the Nerazzurri missing out on European football for the new season under Roberto Mancini.

With Switzerland in pole position to qualify for Euro 2016 behind England in Group E, he may be seeking elite club competition to ensure his place at international level does not come under threat.

In other Everton news, odds-on 4/9 top six chances Tottenham continue to be linked with Republic of Ireland anchorman James McCarthy, despite his £20m valuation.

As Gareth Barry’s legs are ageing, Muhamed Besic is yet to impress and new signing Tom Cleverley arrives on Merseyside with a lot to prove, Martinez can ill afford to lose one of his prized engine room assets to a major rival.