Everton and Southampton on alert as €6m World Cup absentee plots move

Ever Banega, who just missed out on a place in Alejandro Sabella’s Argentina squad, is reportedly keen on a move away from current club Valencia.

Southampton and Everton could go head-to-head for La Liga misfit Ever Banega this summer, with reports suggesting the Argentine is seeking a move away from Spain.

The Premier League pair were both previously linked with summer bids for the Argentine, who narrowly missed out on a place in Argentina’s squad for the World Cup in Brazil after being cut from the 30-man preliminary party selected by Alejandro Sabella for the tournament.

Keen to resurrect a career that once promised so much, the 26-year-old is now thought to be desperate for a Mestalla departure with Marca this week reporting that the South American is agitating for a move away.

Signed by Los Che for a whopping €20 million, injuries and off-the-field problems have dogged Banega throughout his time in Spain and he spent the latter half of last season on loan at Newell’s Old Boys where he had hoped to be fit in time for the World Cup.

But that spell failed to guarantee the Argentine a place on the plane to Brazil and it is thought that the midfielder is now keen to bring an end to his time at Valencia and seek out a fresh challenge.

According to reports from Spain, the only concrete interest Los Che have so far received, however, has come from the Ukraine with a bid of around €6 million tabled by an unnamed club.

With Banega thought to be against the idea of a move to Eastern Europe, there could be an opportunity for one of Everton or Southampton to steal a march of their transfer rivals with a bid of their own.

Roberto Martinez and Ronald Koeman are both thought to be keen admirer’s of the playmaker’s talents having kept a close eye on his performances over the years in La Liga.

As a native of Spain Martinez would have been all too aware of Banega's ability and Koeman was manager of Los Che at the time of the Argentine's arrival, working closely with the player during his initial spell at the club.

Everton and Southampton have also both been linked with moves for the midfielder in the past and his availability now makes a deal a real possibility.

And while his non-playing antics make any move a risk, it could be one that pays off given the relatively low price tag attached to a player once linked to Barcelona and regarded as the natural successor to legendary Argentine playmaker Juan Roman Riquelme.

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