Merseyside giants Everton are believed to be ramping up their interest in signing Manchester United’s out-of-favour central midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin.
Schneiderlin has found his fortunes at Old Trafford dwindle this season, with new manager Jose Mourinho preferring to play Ander Herrera, Michael Carrick, Marouane Fellaini, and new signing Paul Pogba in midfield.
Sure enough, the former Southampton midfielder has only played in eight matches in all competitions for the club this season, out of a possible 31.
Understandably, the French midfielder isn’t happy at all with his situation, although he hasn’t been very vocal about his discontent with his current club. This silence, however, has not stopped suitors from angling a move for the midfielder, with the likes of West Bromwich Albion and Southampton thought to be interested.
Everton, however, are believed to be the favourites to sign the Frenchman. Indeed, according to the Express, the Toffees are in continuing talks with Manchester United about the fee for Schneiderlin, which United have set to the tune of £24m – the fee they paid for the player back in 2015.
Everton have had an initial bid of £19m turned down, but the Merseyside club seem to be undeterred by this setback and are planning to come back to the table with a higher offer.
Everton would of course be right to pursue their interest in Schneiderlin, and here are four reasons why:
Schneiderlin knows Koeman’s system
Schneiderlin played under current Everton boss Ronald Koeman when the Dutch manager was still at Southampton back in 2014.
Indeed, Schneiderlin was one of Southampton’s key players during the 2014-15 season which prompted then United manager Louis van Gaal to sign the French midfielder in July.
Schneiderlin knows Koeman’s system perfectly and will have no problems fitting in at Everton should he make the move.
Everton need a replacement for Gareth Barry
Gareth Barry has been pivotal for Everton this season, having appeared in 19 matches for the Toffees thus far, averaging 2.6 successful tackles and 1.3 successful interceptions per game.
He is Everton’s main man in midfield, but at 35, he won’t be there forever.
Schneiderlin plays in the same vein as Barry. The French international has a solid defensive game in midfield and can prove to be a great long-term replacement for the Englishman.
Everton need an accurate passer
This season, Everton’s passing rate has not been bad but it hasn’t been something write home about, either.
True enough, in all of their league games this season, Everton’s passing accuracy has only been at 78%, which is pretty much standard mid-table performance.
The club, of course, are gunning for a European cup place, and to do that, they need to up their game.
Schneiderlin can provide that incisive passing for Everton. Indeed, Schneiderlin had a passing accuracy of 89% last season, and that kind of precision would be welcome at Goodison Park.
Schneiderlin is available for cheap
Had Schneiderlin been a first-team regular for United this season, he would be commanding a higher transfer fee than just £24m.
There are a lot of things to consider here: it’s the January transfer window, the player is a current international, the player’s contract still has more than a year to go – all these should drive Schneiderlin’s price tag to upwards of £40m.
And yet he is available for half that price. Everton should really be jumping in like a madman to seal this deal. After all, they’d be mad not to do so.