By George Overhill

19th Dec, 2022 | 4:40pm

Everton make contact with Boulaye Dia entourage over Premier League move

Everton have been in contact with Boulaye Dia’s representatives over a move to the Premier League, according to Otto Pagine.

The Senegal attacker is on loan at Salernitana from Villarreal and there is an option to make the deal permanent, but the Toffees are part of competition for his signature that has reportedly “become ruthless”.

The 26-year-old, who scored his nation’s first goal in Qatar as they reached the last 16 before going out against England, is also interesting West Ham.

Tutto Salernitana reported on 12 October that Everton had already attempted to override the Serie A side’s agreement with their La Liga counterparts by offering Villarreal between €15-16million [£13-14million].

And now it appears they, and Premier League rivals West Ham, are both putting the pressure on by “testing the waters” with the player’s entourage.

The Otto Pagine report states that Salernitana will now have to “step on the accelerator” with their own move which has been put “on standby for the moment”.

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Pressure mounts

Dia is one of a few forward players that the Toffees are being linked to as Frank Lampard looks to kickstart his stuttering attack.

It looks like Salernitana would prefer to sit on the situation and make a decision on a permanent deal for him at the end of the season.

But Lampard doesn’t have the luxury waiting for June and needs help in the next few weeks if he is going to ensure that he isn’t in the midst of a relegation battle for the second half of the season.

So it is no surprise that it looks like the club have been turning the screw as much as they can with both the Spanish side and the player’s people.

If they can put enough pressure on, and ultimately it is sure to be money which speaks the loudest, all the involved parties may be prepared to bring forward a conclusion to the saga to January rather than the summer.

However, if that is not possible Everton will have to move on quickly and put in the crucial work towards recruiting alternatives now because the side needs goals and it needs them as a matter of urgency.

Dia could remain a possibility come the end of the campaign even if he doesn’t arrive next month, as his six goals in 14 appearances is a decent return so far, but if so it would have to be on top of whoever the Toffees can secure imminently.