The January transfer window is underway and Everton have made a beeline for French midfielder and Manchester United outcast Morgan Schneiderlin.
The Toffees have offered £19 million for the Frenchman, which has been rejected by Manchester United, according to The Guardian. The Old Trafford outfit want to recoup most of the £24 million they paid Southampton for Schneiderlin in the summer of 2015.
Everton manager Ronald Koeman was the manager of the Saints back then, and the Dutchman is now eager to reunite with his former ward.
The Toffees are in urgent need of a central midfielder now that their best player in that position Idrissa Gueye has left to join the Senegal national team for the African Cup of Nations (AFCoN). Koeman is also worried about the fitness of James McCarthy, and is believed to be looking to sign a central midfielder as soon as possible.
Everton are not the only ones chasing Schneiderlin this winter. Premier League rivals West Bromwich Albion have already had an £18 million bid rejected, and the two clubs look set to go head to head for the 27-year-old defensive midfielder.
Goodison Park seems a more likely destination for Schneiderlin, given his relationship with former boss Ronald Koeman. Everton now have the financial muscle to outbid West Brom as well, and in the end this will probably be the deciding factor.
Morgan Schneiderlin is yet to be handed a Premier League start by manager Jose Mourinho, and is currently a fringe player in the Manchester United set-up. The Frenchman is behind the likes of Michael Carrick, Ander Herrera, Paul Pogba and Marouane Fellaini in the pecking order.
Mourinho has already publicly stated that the player is ready to move on, and he is willing to allow him to do just that. This means that United are just waiting for the right bid.
The Frenchman showed his class during his time at Southampton, and is still at the physical peak of his career. A transfer fee close to £24 million isn’t too much to ask for a player of his caliber, and this is something that both Everton and West Brom need to consider before their next bid.