Parents of Arsenal striker target hint at move to Premier League rival

Arsenal could be set to miss out on the signing of striker Michy Batshuayi as the youngster's parents believe he will sign for Everton.

The Standard Liege forward has been attracting interest from Portuguese side Benfica, but Arsenal have been considered front runners for the 20-year-old for some time now, with Arsene Wenger looking to clinch the signature of a centre forward to who can shoulder some of the workload alongside Olivier Giroud in the Arsenal squad.

But recently, Everton have been making their way to the front of the queue for Batshuayi, as manager Roberto Martinez looks to bring in a long-term centre forward.

Romelu Lukaku's loan deal from Chelsea will expire at the end of the season and it's unlikely the Toffees will be able to afford him permanently, whilst Arouna Kone is out for the season and Nikica Jelavic was recently sold to Hull City.

It seems that, despite being on the verge of landing AS Monaco's giant Ivorian Lacina Traore on loan for the rest of the season, Martinez is still intent on bringing Batshuayi to Goodison Park, which would make sense as there were rumours suggesting that an English side would buy the youngster, then loan him to Anderlecht. Everton would be able to use Lukaku and Traore until the summer, and when both players return to their parent clubs, Martinez would have Batshuayi and Kone at his disposal.

And now Batshuayi's parents have revealed that Standard Liege have had talks with Everton over a transfer which would see their son move to Merseyside – but they feel that president Roland Duchatelet is trying to force the striker out of the club.

To be perfectly honest, we often have the impression that the president is pushing our son to the exit door,” Batshuayi's parents said. “Our manager has confirmed to us that Everton have contacted him, because Mr. Duchâtelet was contacted directly by email from Everton about the possibility of a transfer. We have also seen that e-mail.”

The news will serve as a blow to Arsenal but a boost to Everton, who seemingly see Batshuayi as the perfect replacement for his compatriot Lukaku.

With 15 goals in 22 games for Standard Liege this season, Batshuayi is a prolific youngster who will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of Lukaku and Christian Benteke – two strikers who made their names in Belgian football before taking the Premier League by storm.

image: © mikehamm

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