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SPORTS UPDATE

Everton make late bid to Villarreal regarding Chukwueze

Everton have been in contact with Villarreal regarding Nigerian forward Samuel Chukwueze as Frank Lampard seeks to bolster his striking options ahead of the transfer deadline.

According to AS, Marca and Relevo.com in Spain, the two clubs have had discussions about the potential availability of the 23-year-old but there has been no firm offer from Merseyside as yet. Radio Estadio, however, are suggesting that a deal could be fairly close while Javi Mata of Radio Vila-real says that “advanced negotiations” are expected to continue on Wednesday.

Chukwueze has played 162 games for Villarreal, scoring 25 goals and providing 22 assists, including one each in the recent Champions League qualifier against Hajduk Split.

Last season he bagged seven in 38 matches in all competitions, a slight improvement on the 5 goals in 40 games he scored the year before.

Chukwueze has two years remaining on his contract with the Liga club and still has a huge release clause rumoured to be around €80m but Villarreal are free to negotiate with any interested party for a player that Marca describe as not having lived up to the explosive potential he demonstrated in his first season with the Spanish outfit.

The report says that a sale might be advantageous to Villarreal to help balance their books and allow them to look at other players.

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