Everton have triggered the €40 million (£34m) release clause of El Bilal Toure.
Belgian journalist Sacha Tavolieri has reported that the Toffees have tabled a bid to activate the striker’s release clause but could only afford to do so over three to four instalments.
Toure joined Almeria from Reims last summer and picked up seven goals and two assists as they finished one point above the relegation zone, whilst also scoring the only goal in the club’s first ever win against Barcelona.
The forward has long been linked with a move to Goodison Park and it seems the Toffees are now advancing in their pursuit.
Everton have now met the Malian’s release clause and have offered him a five-year deal with a gross salary of £3.7m per season, while the likes of Wolves, Nottingham Forest and Fulham are all considering joining the race.
Almeria are reluctant to let the 21-year-old leave Spain this summer though it is completely up to Toure now that his release clause has been triggered.
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However, Everton may not be in a strong of a position if other teams also decide to table a bid for the attacker – especially if they can pay the fee up front rather than in instalments.
Everton need to wrap up a deal for El Bilal Toure quickly others cough up the cash
El Bilal Toure is clearly a very exciting young prospect and could be an interesting signing for Everton if they can get the deal across the line.
However, their current financial situation means they need to get a deal done very quickly before anyone else triggers his release clause.
The Toffees are the first to make a bid for the youngster, but they could fall behind if one of their rivals are able to pay the £34m all at once.
Everton are taking a risk in attempting to pay off the release clause in instalments and it will be frustrating for fans to see given that they could have the deal very easily wrapped up if they had the £34m available.
However, Sean Dyche’s side are having to be very cautious about their spending and, if they are to lure Toure to Merseyside, then it will have paid off.
It is a pursuit that could go one of two ways, but they don’t want to be left in the same situation as they are now in a month or so.