Everton had scouts watching Lille midfielder Boubakary Soumare in their 3-0 win over Lens on Friday night, according to a report from the Daily Mail.
Soumare, a predominantly defensive midfielder, has made 41 appearances in all competitions for Lille this season.
He has helped them move to within touching distance of ending PSG’s run of three consecutive French titles. They are three points clear of the Parisians with two rounds of fixtures left.
The 22-year-old played all 90 minutes at Stade Bollaert-Delelis as Lille took a step closer to a first Ligue 1 title in a decade. His SofaScore rating of 7.7/10 was the second-highest among Lille’s midfielders, with only two-goal striker Burak Yilmaz (8.4) exceeding him.
Soumare finished the game with a passing accuracy of 92%, completing five of his six long balls. He also won three of his four ground duels and pitched in with five interceptions (SofaScore).
Both Everton and Leeds officials watched on as Soumare turned in an impressive display against Lille’s northeast rivals, but the Daily Mail claimed that Leicester are currently leading the race for his signature.
The Foxes have apparently opened talks over a £21m deal for the Frenchman, with Lille hoping that ‘rival bids’ will drive up the 22-year-old’s price.
Everton spent £21m last summer to sign a specialist defensive midfielder in the form of Allan, but Soumare, who is eight years the Brazilian’s junior, might be viewed as a more viable long-term option. The former Napoli man has also missed 13 games through injury this season.
Soumare would be quite a coup, and beating Leicester to his signature would in itself be a statement of Everton’s own Champions League ambitions, but they might have to act swiftly if they are to lure him to Goodison Park.
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