By George Overhill

22nd Mar, 2023 | 7:10pm

Neal Maupay perfect for Everton player-plus-cash deal to sign Boulaye Dia after Fabrizio Romano tweet

Everton are now perfectly placed to finally land a striker target by offering Neal Maupay plus cash for Boulaye Dia from Salernitana.

The Toffees have been tracking the on-loan forward for months, and already tried to buy him from parent club Villarreal for €16million [£14.1million] according to Tutto Salernitana on 12 October.

But with the Italian side possessing a €12million [£10.6million] permanent option in their loan deal, and the Senegal international establishing himself as “one of the best strikers in the league” they are in position to trigger the option and make an immediate profit at the end of the season [Tutto Salernitana, 12 February], with a number of sides interested [Salernitana News, 13 March].

At the same time, in what might be the first piece of luck involving Everton and strikers in the transfer market in recent memory, Fabrizio Romano posted an update on Twitter from Maupay’s agent Federico Pastorello on Tuesday (21 March), reporting that Salernitana wanted the Frenchman before his ill-fated £15million move to Merseyside [BBC Sport, 26 August].

The Italian posted: “Neal Maupay could leave Everton at the end of the season. His agent Pastorello: “Salernitana wanted him, Everton got the deal done in January then changed the coach: we’ll see in June”, told TMW.”

“Probably there could be options in Serie A, Neal is open to joining Italy”.

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Tutto Mercato Web quote Pastorello as mentioning “strong negotiations” with Salernitana before the Everton move, suggesting there is definitely a deal to be done there for the Goodison Park misfit who has scored just once this season.

Maupay won’t be worth anything like the fee the Toffees paid Brighton in the summer, but if the Italians wanted him that much he is sure to be an attractive bargaining chip that must give Everton a key leg up in negotiations.

Dia has 10 Serie A goals and four assists this season, leading the club in both categories, and could finally be the man to replace the all-round output of Richarlison.

It is certain to take Maupay plus a reasonable fee to get it done, but if Salernitana can make a profit on their £10.6million outlay and land a player they like, while Everton finally get their target without breaking the bank, while moving on a player who doesn’t seem to have ever fit at Goodison it looks like a win-win all round.

Nothing is simple with the Toffees but the pieces seem to be falling in place for a deal that makes too much sense not to push for.