Report: AC Milan ordered to match Everton's £26.6m bid for Fiorentina's Nikola Kalinic

Nikola Kalinic of ACF Fiorentina in action during the Serie A match between ACF Fiorentina and Empoli FC at Stadio Artemio Franchi on April 15, 2017 in Florence, Italy.

Everton continue to be linked with Fiorentina's Nikola Kalinic.

According to Tutto Mercato Web, AC Milan are still pursuing Fiorentina striker Nikola Kalinic - but have been told to match Everton's €29million (£26.6million) bid for the forward.

Many Premier League fans may be familiar with Kalinic, given that he joined Blackburn Rovers from Hajduk Split back in 2009, arriving with a record of 50 goals in 100 games in his native Croatia.

Nikola Kalinic of ACF Fiorentina in action during the Serie A match between ACF Fiorentina and Empoli FC at Stadio Artemio Franchi on April 15, 2017 in Florence, Italy.

However, Kalinic failed to recapture that form with Blackburn, scoring only seven times in 44 Premier League appearances before being sold to Ukrainian outfit Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk, where he rebuilt his reputation with 49 goals in 125 games.

Fiorentina snapped up the Croatian international in 2015, and he has now recorded an impressive 33 goals in 84 appearances, including 20 goals in all competitions last season - and his exploits appear to have triggered major interest.

Tutto Mercato Web report that AC Milan - who have splashed the cash on the likes of Ricardo Rodriguez, Leonardo Bonucci, Mateo Musacchio, Andrea Conti, Franck Kessie, Lucas Biglia, Hakan Calhanoglu and Andre Silva this summer - are keen to sign Kalinic, but have been told to match Everton's €30million (£26.6million) bid.

The Toffees are in the market for a new centre forward before the transfer deadline later this month, having sold Romelu Lukaku to Manchester United - and Kalinic has emerged as a shock contender to replace the Belgian in Ronald Koeman's attack.

Nikola Kalinic of ACF Fiorentina celebrates after scoring a goal during the Serie A match between ACF Fiorentina and SS Lazio at Stadio Artemio Franchi on May 13, 2017 in Florence, Italy.

As it's claimed that Everton have offered £26.6million, the Toffees appear to be leading the race for Kalinic's signature, leaving Fiorentina to demand that Milan match that bid to challenge Everton.

The 29-year-old may fancy one more shot at Premier League success having failed with Blackburn, and whilst it may be appealing to remain in Italy yet with a 'bigger' club, Everton may be emerging as Kalinic's best option this summer.

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