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Everton have reportedly agreed to pay €40million for Lille and Belgium midfielder Amadou Onana after he ‘chose’ them over West Ham United.
Onana had an impressive 2021/22 campaign with Lille, playing 41 matches across all competitions, including eight times in the Champions League.
The 20-year-old penned a new five-year contract last August after joining from Hamburg for around £6m, but it looks like he is on the move this summer.
Arsenal and Liverpool have been linked with the young Belgian – who made his debut for his national team in June’s Nations League loss against the Netherlands.
However, it was West Ham who made their interest official with a bid.
Their opening offer was believed to be in the region of €23m, but this was turned down by Lille.
The French club insisted the player is not for sale, however, money talks.
West Ham came back with an improved bid worth an initial €35m (£29.3m) plus €5m in add-ons, and this was enough for Lille to accept, despite initially asking for €40m.
The Hammers have been hoping to bring in a new midfielder all summer following the arrivals of Alphonse Areola, Nayef Aguerd, Flynn Downes and Gianluca Scamacca.
A left-sided attacker and left-back are also on the agenda for David Moyes. Eintracht Frankfurt’s Filip Kostic and Burnley’s Maxwel Cornet have both been linked in recent weeks.
A deal for Cornet has progressed well and should be finalised soon, meanwhile, the signing of Kostic does not appear to be on the cards as things stand.
After Lille accepted a bid from West Ham for Onana, it emerged on Wednesday that the 20-year-old would ‘prefer’ to join Everton.
The Toffees had a dire 21/22 season, narrowly avoiding relegation to the Championship, while West Ham reached the semi-finals of the Europa League and finished seventh in the Premier League, qualifying for the Europa Conference League.
Their poor campaign does not appear to have negatively impacted the club’s pull in the transfer market, with Onana officially choosing to join the Merseyside club over the Irons.
This is according to French journalist Saber Desfarges, who says Lille and Everton have ‘reached an agreement’ for the Belgian midfielder.
Everton will pay €36m plus €4m in add-ons for the player.
‘Contractual details’ have to be settled, but Onana ‘has made his choice’ and is very likely to represent the blue half of Merseyside this season with a ‘deal almost completed’.
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