Zenit St Petersburg’s Sardar Azmoun could reportedly be heading to the Premier League and Merseyside – but with Liverpool rather than Everton.

One Merseyside giant needs a natural-born goalscorer far more than the other.

While Liverpool stormed to another Champions League crown and accumulated 97 points in the Premier League, their neighbours from across Stanley Park were once again forced to settle for a mid-table finish last season.

In truth, Everton’s lack of a reliable centre-forward continues to limit their undoubted potential. While Marco Silva boasts top quality talents in midfield and out wide, the fact that Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Cenk Tosun scored just nine Premier League goals between them speaks volumes.

So you’d think it would be Everton making checks on Sardar Azmoun, rather than Liverpool.

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The so-called ‘Iranian Messi’ came closer than ever to justifying those comparisons with the Barcelona superstar after joining Zenit St Petersburg in January, scoring 14 goals in just 17 games, firing his new club to the Russian Premier League title.

And, according to Soviet Sport, Liverpool have been watching him very closely. But where are Everton? The Toffees have been linked with Azmoun since 2016 and The Mirror claimed just a year ago (22 April, page 48) that he was still on their radar so surely he’s still an option after enjoying the best run of form in his entire career.

Blessed with a fearsome leap and the tendency to thrive in high-pressure situations, 24-year-old Azmoun could be the final piece in Everton’s jigsaw. So they cannot stand idly by with Liverpool looking to strengthen their already star-studded forward line.

In other news, Free agent now in talks over London move after emotional Tottenham switch ruled out