By Alex Beard

29th Feb, 2020 | 1:22pm

Report: Everton monitoring Nigerian international duo

If you want to be a top club you always have to be looking for the best up-and-coming talent, and that’s what Everton need to keep doing.

They made a point of doing so in January, with their only signing of that transfer window being teenage centre half Jarrad Branthwaite.

One of the keys to Leicester City’s remarkable title win a few years back was the low-key recruitment of players like Riyad Mahrez and N’Golo Kante.

So if the Toffees can bring in top players a few years ahead of schedule, it will eventually bear fruit in a big way.

It seems that the Merseyside outfit are determined to get a couple of young stars in over the summer.

All Nigeria Soccer reported on Saturday that the Blues are one of several teams monitoring Bordeaux’s Nigerian international duo Josh Maja and Samuel Kalu.

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Everton, Manchester United and Newcastle United will be in attendance to watch the Ligue 1 side take on OGC Nice on Saturday evening.

Maja is a former Sunderland striker, while Kalu’s representative William D’Vila did deals with the Toffees for Henry Onyekuru and Oghenekaro Etebo in recent years.

Would these two be good signings for Everton?

Maja has long seemed like a terrific prospect and, at just 21 years of age, he now has significant experience of playing football in England and France.

He’s bagged seven goals and provided three assists for a mid-table Bordeaux team this season, while he previously got 17 in 49 for Sunderland as a very young man.

Kalu is a year older, and is a right winger. He’s only scored once and provided just two assists this term.

Maja would appear to be the real blue-chip prospect here, but it will be a tough fight to secure his signature.

In other Everton news, the club have reportedly slapped a £40million price tag on a key Toffees star.