Everton are edging closer to signing Lokomotiv Moscow striker Oumar Niasse, according to reports from The Guardian.
The 25-year-old is expected to undergo a medical on Monday morning and finalise his personal terms on a £13.5m transfer from the Russian club.
He has scored 12 goals and registered 10 assists this season in 21 games for Lokomotiv, and was voted the Russian Premier League’s player of 2015.
Niasse is known for his strength and explosive pace, and his playing style is perfect for the Premier League.
Premier League giants Chelsea and Manchester United were also reportedly interested in signing him. Earlier this month, The Guardian reported that United had scouted him extensively over the first half of the season.
He rejected offers from big European clubs like Bayer Leverkusen and Monaco last summer, as he always wanted to play in the Premier League.
Two important things stand out in this deal.
First, he chose to join Everton, probably understanding that he would get more playing time under Roberto Martinez than at Chelsea or United. Needless to say, it could very well be the case that none of Chelsea or United actually made an offer for him.
Secondly, the size of the fee is eye-catching; as it is the most expensive incoming deal involving English clubs so far in the January window, eclipsing Newcastle United’s £12m signings for both Jonjo Shelvey from Swansea City and Andros Townsend from Tottenham Hotspur.