Toffees target Lennon for Mirallas move as Eto’o exits Everton
Everton, 14/1 shots with Coral for a top six finish this term, are set to be offered long-serving winger Aaron Lennon in exchange for Kevin Mirallas by Europa League rivals Tottenham.
Spurs head coach Mauricio Pochettino is thought to want versatile Belgium international attacker Mirallas at White Hart Lane, and Lennon, 27, is deemed surplus to requirements, after missing out on the matchday squad for six of the last seven Premier League games.
Mirallas, a key performer for Everton, played a big part in the Goodison Park club landing compatriot Romelu Lukaku on loan last season; a move which was made permanent this past summer for a Toffees record fee of £27m.
Talks over a new deal for Mirallas, also 27, have been put on hold until this summer, as the player wants to see where Everton finish in the Premier League. Toffees boss Roberto Martinez understands his position. “Kevin is on a long-term contract. It is not as if his contract is up at the end of the season,” he said.
“Kevin is happy with his football but I think it is only normal to see where we are as a football club before he signs a new contract or decides what he wants to do. I don’t see him not signing now as a sign of anything. It doesn’t make any difference whether you have a two-year deal or a six-year deal nowadays. If you want to move on you will do it whether you have a long-term or short-term contract.”
At White Hart Lane, however, Mirallas would link up with other fellow Belgians. Jan Vertonghen, Mousa Dembele and Nacer Chadli are all on the books at Tottenham.
In other Everton news, veteran striker Samuel Eto’o is set to sign for Serie A side Sampdoria this week on an 18-month deal, which is widely expected to involve some coaching capacity.
Cameroon’s record scorer Eto’o, 33, played in Italy before with Inter Milan, winning a historic treble in 2010 under Jose Mourinho. Genoese team Sampdoria recently sold leading marksman Manolo Gabbiadini to Napoli, leaving a striker spot open and this prospect of regular football is understood to have attracted Eto’o.
The Toffees are odds-on at 4/9 to finish in the top half, but ending up outside the European places may result in other names, including Mirallas, leaving Merseyside this coming summer.