Everton plot £3m summer swoop for Espanyol star Sergio Garcia
Everton boss Roberto Martinez has identified Espanyol attacker Sergio Garcia as a top summer target.
The Toffees, who are 14/1 for a top-four Premier League finish with Coral, are confident of landing 30-year-old Garcia for a cut-price £3m at the end of the season, according to tabloid reports.
Martinez is set to lose three forward options from his current squad – strikers Romelu Lukaku and Lacina Traore, and winger Gerard Deulofeu – as they will all return to their parent clubs when the current campaign ends.
Garcia, who can play up front or on either flank, is a Barcelona academy graduate and was part of the Spain squad that won Euro 2008.
He picked up just two caps, however, but has netted 10 goals for mid-table La Liga outfit Espanyol this term.
Before returning to Catalonia, Garcia had spells at Real Zaragoza and Real Betis. In the summer of 2008, he was linked with a move to the Premier League.
Everton were not among his rumoured suitors then, but the likes of West Ham, Stoke City, Spurs (10/1 for a top-four finish) and Liverpool (10/3 for the Premier League title) were all interested.
Martinez will face reported competition from unnamed clubs in France and Italy’s top-flights for Garcia’s services. His contract with Espanyol, who are experiencing financial difficulties, expires in 2015 and sources close to the player claim a move to England is his preference.
Barca forward Isaac Cuenca is another target for Everton. Like Garcia, he has one year left on his current deal, but Gerard Martino is willing to let the 22-year-old winger leave the Nou Camp.
Cuenca, who missed the start of the season after undergoing knee surgery, will be available for a similar price to Garcia. Barcelona are 2/1 to win their El Clasico meeting with Real Madrid at the Bernabeu on March 23rd.