Everton plot capture of Colombia striker Carlos Bacca from Sevilla
Everton, who are 5/2 for a top-four finish with Coral, are weighing up a summer swoop for Sevilla striker Carlos Bacca.
The 27-year-old, who recently bagged a winning brace in the shock victory over Real Madrid, has emerged as a contender to lead Colombia’s line at the World Cup.
Fellow countryman Radamel Falcao could miss the tournament with a knee injury, but national coach Jose Pekerman may have a readymade replacement.
According to the tabloid rumour mill, Bacca has a reported £9m buy-out clause in his contract with Sevilla. With 19 in all competitions this term, he is attracting interest from the Toffees and other teams in Spain.
Bacca’s stock has risen significantly after that decisive brace against Real, and several scouts are expected in Seville and at the World Cup finals to run the rule over him. He may prove to be a bargain buy for Carlo Ancelotti’s cross-capital rivals Atletico Madrid, if Diego Simeone sells top-scorer Diego Costa.
Roberto Martinez may lose loan star striker Romelu Lukaku at the end of the season when he returns to Chelsea. Signing the big Belgium international permanently may cost in excess of £20m, so Bacca represents a cheaper alternative for the Everton manager.
Sevilla could be set to almost double their outlay on Bacca, after paying £5m to land him for Club Bruges last summer. He was prolific for the Belgian club, netting 31 goals in just 54 outings.
Martinez knows he will have to remodel the Toffees attack for next season, as another of his striking options, Lacina Traore, is only on loan from Monaco. Winger Gerard Deulofeu is at Goodison Park on a similar temporary basis from Barcelona, but there has been speculation his spell on Merseyside may be extended.
Colombia, who are 22/1 chances to win the World Cup on South American soil, have been drawn in Group C alongside Greece, Ivory Coast and Japan. They are odds-on favourites both to top this pool (8/11) and qualify for the knockout phase (1/4).
Bacca, who has two international goals in nine caps, is a 125/1 shot to win the Golden Boot in Brazil.