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Everton have ramped up their interest in young Manchester United forward, Anthony Elanga, according to reports published by TeamTalk and Football Insider.
Toffees boss Frank Lampard is keen to bolster his attacking options ahead of the second half of the Premier League campaign and he is rumoured to be a keen admirer of the Swedish international’s raw skillset.
Initially, Everton had been linked with a loan move for the 20-year-old, however, a permanent deal has now been muted for the rapid flanksman, who could be open to seeking out new pastures in an attempt to secure more regular first-team football.
Elanga struggling for game time at United
Anthony Elanga earned favour under interim United boss Ralf Rangnick last season when the club’s academy graduate was a regular feature in the German’s line-ups.
Elanga started 14 times and scored twice in the Premier League overall in 2021/22, with his match-clinching effort against Leeds at Elland Road in a 4-2 United win in February the standout moment.
However, Elanga has struggled to convince new United manager Erik ten Hag of his merits since the summer and the youngster, who has been picked to start just twice in the league since September, is now a peripheral figure in Manchester.
A fresh start at Goodison Park?
As recently as Boxing Day, it first emerged that Elanga was on Everton’s radar and a clean slate on Merseyside might be just the tonic for the Malmo-born wide forward, who is searching for a way to recapture last season’s form.
Everton have scored just 13 times in 17 Premier League fixtures since August and their lack of thrust in forward areas has made it difficult for the Toffees to pull away from the drop zone.
Elanga could bring versatility and energy to an Everton frontline that could use an injection of both, though convincing Erik ten Hag to lighten his already meagre options in the final third might be difficult.
Would a permanent deal suit United more than a loan?
With Cristiano Ronaldo jettisoned and Jadon Sancho out of action for the time being, United have problems of their own to contend with at the business end of the pitch however – something that could scupper any potential switch to Everton for Elanga.
United boss Erik ten Hag would be understandably reluctant to allow Elanga to leave without a suitable replacement coming in, though a permanent sale of the 20-year-old could free up the cash the Dutchman needs to bolster his own squad.
The Red Devils are carefully scanning the market for reinforcements up front, however, with the financial picture at the club bleak following a major overspend in the summer, they have been forced to rifle through football’s bargain baskets for recruits.
United value Elanga in the region of £18m and a fee in that range would help to loosen the purse strings at Old Trafford and could allow ten Hag to pick up a striker with greater pedigree in January.
The Manchester giants have been linked with a loan move for Atletico Madrid’s Joao Felix along with a permanent switch for Borussia Monchengladbach’s Marcus Thuram, and an extra £18m in their pockets would certainly help them to facilitate a move for either.