Ahead of what promises to be a summer of heavy investment, Everton face the prospect of losing star man Romelu Lukaku.
It is rumoured the Belgian bulldozer will be targeted if, as is widely-speculated, Partenopei lose talisman Gonzalo Higuain.
The Argentine goal machine has registered an outrageous 82 strikes in 143 Napoli appearances and is thought to be a target for a host of Premier League big hitters, including Arsenal and Chelsea.
Were they to sell, an enormous windfall would be coming their way and, obviously, they’d need a striker of comparable quality with which to replace him.
At 22 and with plenty of developing to do, Lukaku is certainly in that bracket. Since signing for the Toffees in an initial year-long loan deal that was turned permanent, he has scored 61 times in 117 outings across all competitions and trails by one in the race to be the 2015/16 Premier League Golden Boot winner.
Everton and their renewed financial muscle are capable of putting up a good fight to keep their star man, but they’ve seen this season through John Stones that forcing an unsettled player to stay is the fastest way to ensuring his form dips.
If Lukaku makes his desire to join Napoli known, the Merseysiders would have to at least consider selling and, if the Belgium international knows what’s good for him, he’ll be desperate to make the move to Serie A should his mooted suitors lose Higuain.
Napoli has proved a spectacular breeding ground of world-class forwards in recent years, with plenty of top goal getters using the southern Italy side as a stepping stone to world-class status.
When Higuain left Real Madrid, his reputation had clearly dipped. Los Blancos wouldn’t have sold him if this wasn’t the case, while a club bigger than Napoli would’ve moved to sign him were he as good as he is now.
Scintillating form in Serie A has seen him regain his stature as one of the world’s best strikers and he is not the first to be elevated into the elite bracket through his stint at the San Paolo.
Edinson Cavani struck 78 goals in Italy’s top flight across three campaigns in the kingdom of calcio before being signed by Paris Saint-Germain, who also bought his former partner in crime Ezequiel Lavezzi, who scored and assisted a combined 46 over the same length period of time.
If augmenting his reputation further before signing for one of the game’s top teams, Lukaku should jump on the first flight to striker’s paradise Napoli if the opportunity ever arises.