By Nick Ware

3rd Oct, 2021 | 2:10pm

Everton want to sign Nabil Fekir amid Real Betis contract talks

Everton are battling two Premier League clubs in the race to sign Real Betis playmaker Nabil Fekir, according to Spanish online news outlet Fichajes.

Fekir, 27, joined Betis from Lyon in 2019, and he has scored 14 goals in 80 appearances so far for the La Liga side.

His current contract runs until June 2023, and discussions are already well underway over a renewal.

However, Fichajes claim a “powerful financial offer”, for player and club, could change matters.

Arsenal and West Ham are the other clubs credited with an interest in the Frenchman who won the World Cup in 2018.

Creative spark

Everton lost their most creative talent in James Rodriguez last month after his departure to Qatari club Al Rayyan.

The Colombian endured a difficult spell at Goodison Park after signing last year.

He lit up the first few weeks of the 2020/21 campaign as the Blues topped the Premier League table.

However, his form deteriorated as the season wore on and his availability for games was not always certain.

His Blues exit was inevitable, and while many fans were happy to see the 30-year-old leave, it left an obvious lack of creativity at the club.

Rafa Benitez has overseen a solid start to the season since his summer arrival as Carlo Ancelotti’s successor, but it’s only early days and there remain fears that this team could struggle to break compact defences down.

That’s where Fekir comes in.

The 5ft8in playmaker has a penchant for the spectacular, and he can unlock packed defences at ease with his wand of a left foot.

The 2015/16 campaign, when he suffered a serious injury for Lyon, is the only one where he has not hit double figures for direct goal contributions since 2013/14.

Fekir is also more likely to put in the hard yards than Rodriguez, and thus is a more attractive option to Benitez than the Colombian.

In other Everton news, Gary Lineker mocked Manchester United in this Blues player tweet on Saturday.

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