After losing Youri Tielemens to Monaco this summer, Anderlecht were expected to take a hardline stance over the future of fellow prized asset Leo Dendoncker.
The Sun reported in June that Everton had made a £15 million bid for the 22-year-old midfielder, with Manchester United also keen in a player who scored a bullet header against them in the Europa League quarter-finals last season.
However, Anderlecht’s chief executive Herman van Holsbeek stated that any suitor would need to stump up a ‘monumental offer’ for Dendoncker, who is contracted to the Belgian club until 2020. The club reportedly valued the 6ft 2ins powerhouse, who has two caps for Belgium, at around £35 million.
However, in the last 24 hours, speculation has intensified that Dendoncker will be an Everton player before the transfer window closes at the end of this month. Voetball Zone reported on Tuesday that Dendoncker was hopeful of a move to the Premier League this summer and, earlier this month, the player’s agent admitted that he was looking for a new challenge.
And now, in a surprise twist, Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad reports that Anderlecht would be receptive to offers from Everton – with a fee as low as £18 million possibly enough to take him to Goodison Park.
Perhaps this is down to Anderlecht realising that they were facing an impossible task hanging onto Dendoncker, and now want to ensure that they do not price potential suitors out of a move.
Either way, it seems increasingly likely that he will follow Tielemens out the door this summer – and Everton may have to raise their opening bid by as little as £3 million to get their man.