By George Overhill

16th Mar, 2023 | 6:10pm

Everton: Rani Khedira exit from Union Berlin may be unstoppable as Toffees eye summer free transfer

Union Berlin coach Oliver Ruhnert expects summer upheaval and the departure of Everton target Rani Khedira may be on the cards, Sport Bild reports.

The German midfielder is one of a few players who could be set to leave the Champions League-chasing Bundesliga side at the end of the season, with some exits deemed “probably unstoppable”.

The Toffees are eyeing vice-captain Khedira, brother of World Cup-winner Sami, as are Premier League rivals Newcastle, Wolves and Leicester.

He has “developed into a leader” at the heart of the Union side and has previously been scouted by Toffees representatives.

That he will be available for free has understandably attracted wide-spread interest, and it looks like his current club could be powerless to prevent a summer departure.

Midfield general

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Union Berlin may have fallen off the title pace slightly in Germany but are still level on points with third-placed RB Leipzig, and remain in with a shout of qualifying for the Champions League.

Everton will surely be hoping they don’t make it if that leads the 29-year-old to look elsewhere for a new challenge, because a free transfer for a player who has shown such good form this year would be a welcome boost for Sean Dyche.

Premier League survival is obviously a must, and either way it is going to require some convincing from the likes of Dyche and Kevin Thelwell to get a player to trade a fight at the top of the table to club coming off the back of two at the bottom.

But if Everton harbour hopes of building their way out of the ongoing struggles and back to where a club of this size should be that is what it is going to take.

Idrissa Gana Gueye’s position at the base of the midfield is possibly up for grabs amid inconsistent form since his return from PSG, as the 33-year-old was hooked at half-time by Dyche after making a high-profile error at Arsenal on 1 March.

The Senegalese veteran was brought in to provide a dependable presence in front of the back four, and while at times he has done exactly that, there have also been too many occasions where he has lost possession in dangerous areas and put his side in trouble.

If Everton could bring in Khedira, and he were to recreate the form he’s shown this season it would provide a strong platform for the attacking players that surely must be on their way in the same window at long, long last.