Manchester United and Everton are said to be following Lille’s Jonathan Ikone ‘closely’ – but any deal for the forward will not come cheap.
The 21-year-old has been a regular for the Ligue 1 outfit this season, starting all but two of his side’s 28 league games. In this time, Ikone has grabbed three goals and provided a further six assists.
Ikone made his international debut for France back in September. And he found the net just eight minutes after coming on to seal the win for Les Bleus over Albania during a Euro 2020 qualifier.
The player’s stock has continued to rise throughout the season, and Le Quotidien Du Foot in France now report that he has attracted interest from Premier League sides Man Utd and Everton. Elsewhere, Sevilla are also said to be keen.
The report claims that Lyon made an approach for Ikone during the January transfer window, but no deal ever materialised as Lille were searching for €70m for his services. The recent decision to postpone Euro 2020 until 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic may make him think twice about moving as he will be keen for regular first team football ahead of the championships, but Le Foot state that despite this, a departure during the summer is ‘envisaged’.
But with the player continuing to impress since the close of the winter window, Lille may hold out for a similar figure to the one Lyon were quoted in January.
United are on the lookout for a right-sided forward and while Jadon Sancho is the main target, Ikone does also fit the bill. The youngster likes to cut in onto his stronger left foot from the right, allowing him to link up with his teammates.
As for Everton, while Carlo Ancelotti does have the likes of Theo Walcott, Alex Iwobi and Bernard at his disposal, Ikone could provide something different.
Of course, Ikone isn’t the only Lille player to be linked with a move away from the club this summer, with Boubakary Soumaré, Victor Osimhen and Gabriel Magalhães among others all attracting interest from Europe’s elite. The Toffees are battling Chelsea for the signature of centre-back Gabriel, but they are now also keen on Ikone.
While Ikone may have the likes of Man Utd and Everton ‘following him closely,’ any potential deal won’t come cheap.