Everton target Luis Alberto exit imminent as Lazio eye replacement

ROME, ITALY - NOVEMBER 29: Luis Alberto of SS Lazio during the Serie A match between SS Lazio and Udinese Calcio at Stadio Olimpico on November 29, 2020 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Marco Rosi - SS Lazio/Getty Images)
ROME, ITALY - NOVEMBER 29: Luis Alberto of SS Lazio during the Serie A match between SS Lazio and Udinese Calcio at Stadio Olimpico on November 29, 2020 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Marco Rosi - SS Lazio/Getty Images) /
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Everton target Luis Alberto’s exit looks imminent as Lazio locate Hellas Verona’s Mattia Zaccagni as replacement.

Lazio talisman Luis Alberto’s bumpy relationship with the club board could result in a sour end of the association. The 28 year old was one of the best goal creators in the league last season, providing 16 assists in Serie A, just one behind leader Alejandro Gomez. His playmaking qualities have not gone unnoticed as Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti is dreaming about adding the Spaniard to the Toffee ranks.

This season, the former Liverpool man has had fallout with the club after publicly criticizing the club’s decision to buy a new charter plane for the squad while still having players on wage cut due as a consequence of financial losses suffered due to COVID-19. Since then reports have been flying around Italy that Alberto’s strained relationship with the Le Aquile board may result in the Spaniard’s departure.

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The Toffees, like a hyena, are waiting to pounce on their prey. In Ancelotti’s preferred 4-3-3, the third midfield spot has been a spot of bother for the Italian coach. Neither Andre Gomes nor Gylfi Sigurdsson have supported James Rodriguez in the creative department. In a more harsh evaluation, both have caused further degradation at times.

A second playmaker is needed to take some pressure off James’ shoulders and be a part of the patient buildup process. Alberto fits the bill. Lazio will definitely not allow the ex-Reds man off the hook for cheap. Everton must be ready to go an extra mile if required in order to secure the 28 year old’s services.

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An exit for Alberto looks even more imminent as Lazio have already begun their preparations to search a successor to Alberto. According to Italian outlet La Lazio Siamo Noi, Biancocelesti view Hellas Verona attacking midfielder Mattia Zaccagni as Alberto’s replacement.

The 25 year old has two goals and two assists in 10 Serie A games, establishing a strong platform for himself. Hellas Verona’s Zaccagni valuation stands at €20 million, well within the budget of the Rome based club. Lazio will only launch the operation for Zaccagni if their magician Alberto leaves.

A transfer in January looks out of bounds. Due to the time consuming nature of such deals and complexity involved, Lazio won’t find it easy to get the Zaccagni deal done in the winter transfer window. Everton too do not expect a smooth ride in negotiations for Alberto in January.

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If Everton manages to get the deal over the line, Alberto will be a monumental addition to the Toffees. The chances of that happening in January are dim but this is football and nothing is set in stone.