EVERTON are likely to miss out on long-term attacking target Nick Powell this summer – but could be in with a chance of bolstering their midfield with German international Lewis Holtby.
The Blues have sent scouts to watch 18-year-old sensation Powell on several occasions, with David Moyes personally running the rule over the 6ft attacker who scored 16 goals as his side won promotion to Npower League One via the play-offs.
Powell, who scored a stunning strike in the play-off final against Cheltenham, is keen to remain in the North-West, but even though he also wants to play first team football, Toffees sources are certain his heart is set on a £5m move to Manchester United, especially after Crewe gave Alex Ferguson permission to talk terms with the teenager.
Holtby, however, has revealed he would love to play for Everton in the Premier League, and could come into Moyes’ thinking if he has funds at his disposal following player sales.
The Schalke 04 midfielder has talked up a move to the English top-flight, describing his boyhood club Everton, and Arsenal, as his two favourite sides.
The 21-year-old, who shares dual English and Germany nationality, has made 36 league appearances since making his debut in 2009, netting five times, and has won two caps for the German national team.
“I have always said that my aim is to come to the Premier League one day because I love the league,” said Holtby, who missed out on Joachim Low’s Euro 2012 squad.
“My father is English and of course my favourite teams are Everton and Arsenal.
“My father was born in England and was an Everton fan since the age of five. He immediately infected me with the Everton virus! Since then I have been an Everton fan and have always followed their games.
“My thoughts now are first with Schalke but you never know.”
Meanwhile, Everton have confirmed two more pre-season friendlies, against Blackpool and Motherwell.
The Toffees will head to Motherwell on Saturday, July 21 before facing Ian Holloway’s men on Sunday, August 5. Those fixtures join two already confirmed friendlies against Morecambe and Dundee United.
The game against Motherwell at Fir Park takes place three days after the Dundee United game and is a testimonial for long-serving ‘Well player Stevie Hammell.
The Bloomfield Road visit in August is also a testimonial, with former Everton reserve team captain Keith Southern the player being honoured.
Tangerines midfielder Southern said: “I’m absolutely delighted.
“I got wind yesterday that it was definitely going to be Everton, which is perfect.
“When I signed a new contract in September and was told I would have a testimonial there was only one club I really wanted it to be against.”