Everton’s summer transfer plans have been thrown into jeopardy once again after left-back target Andrew Robertson was reportedly identified as a potential new recruit by Premier League rivals Hull.
According to a report from The Mirror, the 20-year-old has caught the eye of Tigers manager Steve Bruce with the former Sunderland and Birmingham City boss keen to recruit the defender following an impressive season-long spell with Dundee United.
That development represents a major blow to the plans of Roberto Martinez, who had hoped to lure the former Queens Park man to Goodison Park, with a view to him eventually replacing first choice left-back Leighton Baines.
But with Hull hoping that the opportunity to play first-team football in the Premier League will be enough to convince Robertson to sign with the club, Everton may have to change their approach if they are to succeed in securing the player’s services.
The Toffees could even be outgunned by Hull financially with Tigers owner Assem Allam likely to able to offer Robertson more lucrative terms than those potentially tabled by Everton chairman Bill Kenwright.
But the chance to play in the Europa League and one day even the Champions League for a team very much secure in their Premier League status could be Everton’s one trump card, as the club aims to go one better than last season’s 5th place finish.
Robertson may not be the only transfer target Everton face stiff competition for with a rumoured bid for Torino’s Alessio Cerci potentially dependent on whether Manchester United re-enter the race to sign the Italian winger, once new manager Louis van Gaal returns from the World Cup.
A new striker also remains a priority for the Blues with Romelu Lukaku unlikely to return to Goodison Park amid reports linking him with a temporary move to Atletico Madrid.