Everton got the gears turning recently with world-renowned football journalist Fabrizio Romano confirming Arnaut Danjuma accepting a loan deal to come to Merseyside from Villareal for the 2023-2024 season. This is the second incoming transfer of the window after the Blues signed Ashley Young on a free transfer last week.
Danjuma is the first of hopefully several attacking options brought into the club as additions in the final third are much needed. Not just because of poor performance and a lack of goal scoring, but because some Everton attackers are rumored to leave the club this window. In addition to Ellis Simms already leaving on a permanent deal to Coventry City, Demarai Gray being linked to Premier League clubs and Saudi Arabia, youngster Tom Cannon being linked to Preston Noth End, French striker Neal Maupay has been linked to Serie A side Salernitana.
The 26-year-old disappointed this season, mustering just two goals across 31 appearances. Despite that, Salernitana football director Morgan De Sanctis is interested in Maupay, according to Sportwitness via Gazzetta dello Sport. They lost out on signing Maupay last summer, and are still interested in bringing in the Frenchman. At the same time, Everton has been tracking one of Salernitana’s attackers, Boulaye Dia.
Everton could offer Neal Maupay plus cash for Boulaye Dia
The 26-year-old from Senegal scored 16 goals and contributed 6 assists across 33 matches this past season for Salernitana. Scoring the third most goals in Serie A, Dia looks like a player that can contribute right away for Everton. He was on loan from Villareal and is now staying in Italy after the club exercised his 12 million euro buy option.
Boulaye Dia possesses strong goal-scoring instincts with 0.32 goals per shot (99th percentile) and 0.71 goals per shot on target (99th percentile). Dia also adds strong hold-up play, with strong assists, key passes, and switches per 90 (all 75th percentile or better). Finally, Dia is strong on the ball using his speed and agility with 1.68 carries into the final third per 90, 1.25 successful take-ons per 90, and 0.29 goal-creating actions off of live passes per 90 (all 75th percentile or better).
According to Sport Witness via Corriere Dello Sport, Dia has a 25 million euro release clause that expires on July 20. Everton would have to negotiate from a price point of 40 million euros if they do not activate this clause. From this, the situation seems unlikely for Everton given the financial circumstances of the club, unless they are creative.
Everton does have an advantage over other potential suitors like AC Milan and Fiorentina because of how long they have tracked Dia. Potentially a player swap could satisfy both sides, with Everton adding a lesser transfer fee for the more valuable Dia and getting the job done.
With time ticking away until the new campaign, Everton needs to turn rumors into reality to ensure a more successful Premier League season. Boulaye Dia is one player Everton should not let slip away.
Will Neal Maupay-Boulaye Dia swap deal happen?