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Craiova are desperate to hang on to the ‘extraordinary’ Alexandru Cicaldau for one more year despite reports suggesting the play-maker is on his way to Everton, shareholder Mihai Rotaru has told DigiSport.

While there is very little wrong with Everton’s striking options, they have two of England’s best young forwards in Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison after all, Carlo Ancelotti’s underperforming side are in dire need of a link between midfield and attack.

Andre Gomes, Fabian Delph and Tom Davies are not exactly hardly natural number tens, after all.

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With just two goals and three assists all season, Gylfi Sigurdsson is a shadow of the player who struck fear into top-flight goalkeepers during two spells at Swansea City.

It is no wonder Cicaldau, a 15-goal midfielder who models himself on Andres Iniesta, has forced his way onto Everton’s radar after a season full of fabulous free-kicks and slaloming solo runs (the Mirror, 19 July, page 70).

But Craiova are not exactly looking to cash in on their star man.

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“Cicaldau is one of the most valuable Romanian players at the moment, if not the most valuable,” Rotaru says of the 23-year-old, who has fired Craiova to the top of the league table.

“We want to keep him for another year. Besides being an extraordinary player, he is also an extraordinary person. We want to attack the Europa League group stages with the same team.

“We have no plans to sell anyone.”

Then again, there is a very real chance that Craiova will be powerless to prevent Cicaldau’s departure.

DigiSport suggested that he has a £6.3 million release clause in his contract – pocket change for Everton owner Farhad Moshiri.

Photo by Karina Hessland-Wissel/Bongarts/Getty Images

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