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Everton turn to Valencia attacker to keep Champions League dream alive

Given the news that their leading scorer Romelu Lukaku could be facing a long time out of action, Everton are being forced to act before the January transfer window closes, and the name being heavily linked is that of Valencia’s attacking midfielder Sergio Canales.

Former Real Madrid man Canales moved to Valencia from the Bernabeu in 2012 for around €12m, but despite scoring six goals in 10 appearances for Spain’s U21s, he has so far failed to score a single goal in 19 La Liga appearances for Los Che this term.

However, Canales has much more to his game than goals and is very well regarded in Spain as a playmaker.

And with his cash-strapped club willing to let him leave on loan, it could be just the lift the Toffees need to help get their top-four mission back on course after their galling Merseyside derby defeat.

Seeing Lukaku poleaxed on the Anfield turf was the icing on a particular bad tasting cake for Everton as they went down 4-0 to local rivals Liverpool, where their price for a top-four finish has understandably lengthened to 6/1 at Coral as a result.

The Toffees were clearly hampered by a string of defensive injuries and although they enjoyed the lion’s share of possession against the Reds, they simply didn’t have an answer for the host’s fluidity of movement and pace on the counter attack.

Thankfully for those of a Toffees persuasion, ahead of a taste for a Werther’s Original, their defensive stalwart Sylvain Distin is in line for a welcome comeback in their next Premier League game against Aston Villa at fortress Goodison Park.

With the Frenchman likely to be back in the side, Everton are 21/10 to keep their sixth home league clean sheet of the campaign.

Signing 22-year-old Canales in the meantime, would be another major plus.