According to Belgian newspaper La Derniere Heure, Everton scouted Sampdoria midfielder Dennis Praet in action against Benevento on Sunday night as they potentially rival Newcastle for his signature.
The Toffees have splashed the cash this summer, landing the likes of Jordan Pickford, Michael Keane, Davy Klaassen, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Sandro Ramirez and Wayne Rooney, but Ronald Koeman could yet dip back into the transfer market before next Thursday's deadline.
Whilst a left-sided defender and a striker appear to be on Koeman's wish list, he is actually being linked with adding another playmaker to his squad before the transfer window slams shut.
Belgian newspaper La Derniere Heure report that Everton scouted Sampdoria's 2-1 home win over newly-promoted Benevento on Sunday evening, with Dennis Praet the subject of their interest.
Newcastle are pursuing a deal for Praet, and again had him watched on Sunday, with Everton now allegedly keen on rivalling the Magpies in the chase for the Belgian playmaker - but a move to St. James' Park could be more beneficial for him right now.
Praet, 23, suffered a frustrating campaign last season with just one goal and one assist, but reuniting with former Anderlecht team-mates Chancel Mbemba and Aleksandar Mitrovic could be appealing, giving him an environment where he already knows some players in the squad.
In Rafael Benitez's 4-2-3-1 system, Praet could be the No. 10 that Newcastle are desperately looking for, providing guile and creativity in the hole, whilst playing a key role for the Magpies rather than what would surely be a bit-part role at Everton.
Koeman has already added playmakers Klaassen, Rooney and Sigurdsson to his squad this summer, so it's hard to see just where Praet would fit in - even if Koeman wanted to lure Praet to Southampton in 2015, as reported by The Mirror.
Everton may just have been making checks on Praet, potentially leaving Newcastle in pole position for his signature - but even if the Toffees do make a surprise move, Praet would be better off playing a starring role at Newcastle than a bit-part role at Goodison Park.
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