Everton face Premier League competition for £12m World Cup hotshot

The Toffees remain in the race to sign Ecuador’s Enner Valencia but with West Ham in the mix and Tottenham also showing interest, they may miss out.

Everton’s summer pursuit of new striker could be set for another setback amid reports linking World Cup target Enner Valencia with a move to the capital

According to reports from Sky Sports, West Ham United have emerged as the surprise front-runners to sign the 24-year-old, who impressed for Ecuador at the World Cup with three goals in his three games for the national side.

Currently valued at £12m by parent club Pachuca, Valencia went into the summer tournament off the back of a terrific season in Mexico, where he managed 18 goals in just 23 appearances.

That form had seen Roberto Martinez take a keen interest in the forward, with the Spaniard keen to add a forward to his Toffees’ squad following the January departure of Nikica Jelavic and the conclusion of Romelu Lukaku’s season-long loan.

However the Blues boss may be forced to look elsewhere for new goalscoring additions after it was revealed that the Hammers had stolen a march in the pursuit of the forward.

And even if Valencia opts against a move to Upton Park, it’s widely believed that Tottenham have also entered the race to recruit the Ecuadorian ahead of a season in which the Lilywhites will be aiming to compete for a top four finish.

Everton’s best hope of landing the forward could now rest on whether the club sanctions a more significant transfer bid for the forward, who nevertheless represents something of a gamble, having never competed in Europe.

But with the likes of Spurs and West Ham emerging as contenders, it would appear that the forward favours a move to the capital, meaning only an offer too good to refuse from Everton would be enough to tempt him into a move.

They could have some help from Manchester United midfielder and namesake Antonio Valencia though, with any move to Everton making it easier for the forward to regularly link-up with his compatriot.

In the meantime Everton may be forced to go back to the drawing board as they continue their search for a new forward.

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