Nikica Jelavic could be on the move out of Goodison Park as Hamburg are keen on signing the Croatian striker.
Oliver Kreuzer, sporting director at Hamburg, informed the Hamburger Morgenpost that the Bundesliga club are interested in signing the 27 year old and promising talks have been held with Everton.
Kreuzer is a long-time admirer of Jelavic. “He is a great player,” the director said. “I know him very well. I wanted to get him out of Rapid Vienna and to Graz in 2010 before he went to Rangers. That transfer only just failed.”
The issue for Hamburg, who finished 7th in last year’s Bundesliga table, is one of finances as Kreuzer claims the club may need to sell before they can buy.
“Day in, day out, I talk to all the agents, but nothing has come up yet,” Kreuzer said. “If we manage that [to sell two or three players] we could work out if a loan or a payment in instalments would be possible.”
After arriving on Merseyside in January 2012, Jelavic wowed crowds scoring nine goals in 13 Premier League contests. His second season, however, was another story as he struggled mightily, netting just seven goals in 37 Premier League starts.
The issue for Everton is whether last year’s form has deemed Jelavic surplus requirements. This summer has already seen the Toffees bring in two strikers, buying Arouna Kone from Wigan and signing Barcelona starlet Gerard Deulofeu to a one year loan deal.
Competition up front thickens when considering the emergence of Victor Anichebe, who was Everton’s best striker last year, bulling his way to a six goal four assist haul over 26 Premier League competitions.
Everton’s great young hope, Ross Barkley, is another player more than capable of making an impact up front. The Toffees youth product, now 19 years old, has shown glimpses of stardom and could be poised for a major breakout in 2013-14.
Another factor in the potential sale of Jelavic is the value the Toffees can command from dealing him.
If manager Roberto Martinez needs to bring in additional players (a center midfielder is certainly in the cards) and Toffees chairman Bill Kenwright financially stonewalls him (which tends to be the case at Goodison Park) then the revenue from a Jelavic deal could come in handy.
The club would be smart, however, to spend some hard time thinking this one through. Merely because Jelavic endured a sophomore slump doesn’t mean he can’t recapture the form that endured him to Toffees supporters in 2012.