Just six games into the new La Liga season, the previously imperious Real Madrid are already seven points behind a Barcelona side who started the season in crisis.
The deficit might have been more, too, if Florin Andone had his shooting boots on in Real’s opening day clash with Deportivo La Coruna. Zinedine Zidane’s side posted a 3-0 away win that looks routine on paper but the scoreline could have been a lot closer with the Romanian striker missing four presentable chances, including a second-half penalty.
In total, Andone has scored just one goal from 16 shots in La Liga this season. It is not exactly the sort of tally that would justify a big money move to the Premier League. Yet, The Sun reports that Everton have enquired about the 24-year-old’s availability as they look to find a long-term replacement for Romelu Lukaku.
Spanish publication AS also reported last month that Burnley were interested before they completed the club-record signing of Chris Wood from Leeds United. They launched a bid of around £11 million but were told in no uncertain terms by club president Tino Fernandez that Andone would not be going anywhere unless his £27.3 million release clause was triggered.
Needless to say, Andone, who scored a decent 12 goals in 37 La Liga games last season, would once again test the depth of majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri’s pockets.
He is strong, hard-working and deceptively fast but, unless he improves his conversion rate, that £27.3 million fee looks a little steep even in today’s market.