Everton boss Sam Allardyce wants to rebuild the team around Borussia Dortmund goal machine Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, according to reports in Germany.
The ruthless Gabon marksman has been linked with all of Europe’s top clubs since he started banging goals in for the Bundesliga side in 2013.
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In recent transfer windows Manchester City, Arsenal and Manchester United have all been linked with the 28-year-old but Dortmund have managed to cling on to their man – so far.
But Bild report the Toffees are ready to jump the clue and snatch the striker to lay down a marker for their ambition under the ex-England boss.
Everton currently sit in 10th place in the Premier League table and will need European football lure the master finisher to England – or pay him over the odds to settle for domestic tournaments only.
Since selling Romelu Lukaku to Manchester United, Everton have been desperately short of a prolific frontman, with Wayne Rooney returning to a deeper role.
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Aubameyang has already scored 11 goals in 12 Bundesliga appearances so far this season – as well eight more in the domestic cups and Champions League.
Since taking over from interim boss David Unsworth, Allardyce has made it crystal clear that risks cannot be taken in the next transfer window after a confusing summer spent stockpiling No10s.
He said: “Every club is different and it’s about getting the right players and making sure when the next player we get in is critical for me
“The next player we get in is Sam Allardyce’s. With all the support of the board and the back-up of the recruitment, I’m not going to go: ‘I want that player. I’ve seen him once and I want that player’.
“I’m not like that, I’m not going to do that, I’m saying: ‘I want this player. This backs it up with the recruitment arm of the football club, along with the stats we accumulate’.
“The technical stats and physical stats we get now through a lot of companies give you this broad base performance of these players anyway. And that helps you make the right decision.
“And that first player has to have a real impact at Everton Football Club to prove to everybody that we are going in the right direction with recruitment.
“I put that money into that player but if that player doesn’t deliver (people will say): ‘Look at that player, look at the money he’s wasted on him, oh he’s bought him, he’s rubbish, what a waste of money’.
“So I’m knackered then, the fans don’t trust me, the board doesn’t trust me and so my first signing is absolutely critical.”