Everton are reportedly interested in signing Atalanta forward Duvan Zapata on a loan-to-buy agreement in a deal worth around £15m.
The Toffees are in desperate need of attacking reinforcements, after winning just one of their last eight league games and plummeting to 19th in the table.
Zapata could represent an experienced forward option for Frank Lampard and if he hits the ground running in the Premier League, could be the difference between relegation and survival.
The Colombian international has been previously linked to a move to the English top flight, with Newcastle making enquiries about him last summer.
The 31-year-old has an excellent goal scoring record in Serie A. Since joining Atalanta in 2019, he has scored an outstanding 80 goals in 173 appearances, along with making 39 assists, giving him an average of 0.69 goal contributions per match.
However, he has struggled to find form this season, after netting just once in 12 league outings. As a result, it seems Atalanta are now willing to listen to offers for the centre forward.
Now, according to the Mirror, Everton have opened talks with Zapata over a loan move with a view to buying him permanently should they avoid the drop to the Championship.
Zapata could be the answer to Everton striker problems
As mentioned, Everton have endured a terrible start to the Premier League campaign, winning just three times in 19 matches – their worst return at this point since 1994.
As increasing pressure mounts on Lampard, the Toffees are keen to get a new signing through the door before their six-pointer against West Ham next Saturday.
A new striker is definitely the priority. Everton’s number nine Dominic Calvert-Lewin has once again struggled with injuries this season, while summer signing Neal Maupay has scored just once in 13 league appearances.
The Toffees were also forced to recall Ellis Simms from his loan at Sunderland earlier this month, which shows how desperate they are to add attacking reinforcements
Lampard has made no secret that Everton are looking to add quality attackers this winter. Recently speaking in a press conference, he said: “We’re working on certain players, and we have the ones that we really want and if that doesn’t work then we go for others.
“My job is to analyse everything and when Richarlison moved it was hard to replace him. We had a problem defensively and brought players in and that helped. I know how competitive this league is. We have to work within our budget and put out the best team.”
Indeed, Everton are looking to bring in several new faces this month, with Manchester United’s Anthony Elanga and Villarreal attacker Arnaut Danjuma reportedly top of Lampard’s shortlist.
Zapata could prove to be a huge signing for Everton, especially if he can rediscover his excellent form from his first two seasons with Atalanta.
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