Austrian press claim Everton are planning to activate Marko Arnautovic's release clause

Austria's Marko Arnautovic looks dejected at the end of the match

Stoke City forward Marko Arnautovic appears to be a top target for Everton.

Austria's Marko Arnautovic looks dejected at the end of the matchAustria's Marko Arnautovic looks dejected

According to Austria's biggest newspaper Krone, Everton are ready to activate the €15m (£12.5m) release clause in Marko Arnautovic's contract.

The Stoke City forward, 26, was one of the rising stars of Dutch football during his time with FC Twente, and after scoring 14 goals in 41 games, he earned a loan move to Inter Milan in 2010 - which ultimately proved to be a failure.

Stoke's Marko Arnautovic in action

Arnautovic moved on to Werder Bremen, scoring 16 goals in 83 games before a move to Stoke City in 2013, and he proved to be one of the Premier League's most dangerous attacking players last season.

With 11 goals in 34 Premier League games, Arnautovic impressed for Mark Hughes' Potters, predominantly cutting in from the left hand side on to his right foot to shoot or create chances, having also notched six assists.

Marko Arnautovic scores the first goal for Stoke

However, with just one year left on his deal with Stoke, speculation surrounds Arnautovic's future, and Everton now appear ready to activate a release clause in his deal.

Reports from major newspaper Krone back in Arnautovic's native Austria claim that Everton are ready to pay the €15m (£12.5m) release clause and bring the attacker to Goodison Park, marking the first major signing of Ronald Koeman's reign.

Marko Arnautovic celebrates after scoring the first goal for Stoke

The report states that a deal may even be close to completion, with manager Koeman a huge fan of Arnautovic from his Twente days, when Koeman was managing PSV Eindhoven and AZ Alkmaar.

Given the release clause, Stoke can't put up too much of a fight in keeping Arnautovic, and with huge money on offer at Goodison Park thanks to Farhad Moshiri's millions, this could be a realistic swoop for Everton - and a major coup given that the finished below Stoke in the Premier League last season.

Would you like to see Everton pay £12.5m for Arnautovic?

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