Everton are keeping tabs on Atalanta midfielder Josip Ilicic ahead of a potential move next summer. According to recent reports, the Toffees are interested in securing his services at the end of this season. However, they could face stiff competition from AS Roma in pursuit of the Serie A ace’s signature.
The 30-year-old signed for Atalanta last summer from Fiorentina in a reported £5m deal. Since sealing his move to the Stadio Atleti Azzurri d’Itali, the Slovenia international has been in sensational form for La Dea in the Serie A, scoring 10 goals and providing 7 assists so far which has not gone unnoticed as both Everton and AS Roma are ready to battle it out for his signature this summer.
Some sources have also claimed that the Toffees have sent scouts to catch him in action ahead of the summer transfer period and they are now prepared to test Atalanta’s resolve in the off-season. Only time will tell whether the Blues of Merseyside are successful in luring him to Goodison Park next summer.
The Toffees are currently sitting in the 9th position in the Premier League standings with a tally of 40 points in 31 matches. They are six points behind Burnley who are sitting in 7th place with a home defeat against Manchester City adding to their miseries for the season.
The potential signing of Ilicic will undoubtedly bolster Sam Allardyce’s attacking options going into the new campaign as he looks to close the gap between themselves and the Premier League’s ‘Big Six’ in the coming years. The Toffees have the likes of Gylfi Sigurðsson, Nikola Vlašić and Wayne Rooney who are vying for a place in Allardyce’s starting eleven. The addition of Ilicic will definitely add more competition for places in the Everton squad as they look to compete on all fronts next season.
The Slovenia international is highly versatile and can play in a number of different positions across the pitch. He primarily operates in the number 10 position but can also be deployed on the right flank which makes him a perfect fit for the Blues of Merseyside. Ilicic has featured in 37 matches for Atalanta this season, scoring 14 goals and creating 9 assists in all competitions. He also has 50 international caps and six goals to his name for the Slovenian national team. It remains to be seen what lies ahead in the future of Ilicic and whether the Toffees can fend off stiff competition in pursuit of his signature this summer.