EVERTON are trying to land a major summer transfer coup by luring World Cup goal-scoring hero Miroslav Klose to Goodison.
Manager David Moyes wants the prolific Bayern Munich striker to lead his forward line next season, but knows he faces an uphill task to put together a salary package capable of persuading him.
The 32-year-old target man, who won the Golden Boot at the 2006 World Cup after notching five goals in the finals for the second successive time, is also wanted by Spurs, Juventus and Valencia.
Klose is a free agent after his contract with Bayern expired recently, and he has already rejected an offer of a one-year extension from the Bundesliga giants.
Moyes is yet to agree his summer transfer kitty with Bill Kenwright and the Everton board, something making early forays into the market a challenge, and even matching Spurs and Juve’s potential wage offerings for a two-year-deal could be difficult.
Nevertheless, Moyes is pushing the case for Klose to line-up in royal blue next season, and could at least guarantee the 6ft forward plenty of first-team football.
Bayern want Klose’s future resolved over the next seven days, with Juventus in the driving seat to bring him to Serie A after vowing to recruit at the top end of the market this summer and failing with a bid to prise Carlos Tevez away from Manchester City.
Meanwhile, Everton have released
reserve trio Iain Turner, Hope Akpan and Kieran Agard.
All three were out of contract at the end of the season and have been told to pursue their careers away from Goodison Park.
Goalkeeper Turner, 27, finished the campaign on loan at Preston North End having been with Everton for eight years following a move from Stirling Albion in 2003.
His Toffees career was punctuated by numerous loan spells, and in all he made six appearances for the first team since a senior debut against Chelsea in the FA Cup in February 2006.
Akpan, 19, and Agard, 21, both spent time in the Everton Academy before graduating to the professional ranks, and although both were regulars in Alan Stubbs’s reserves, neither managed to play for the first team in the Premier League.
Midfielder Akpan, whose solitary senior appearance came in a Europa League tie with Bate Borisov in December 2009, spent time on loan at Hull City earlier this season.
Agard, a pacy striker who also featured against Borisov, tasted Premier League action for the Blues as a substitute against Chelsea and leaves the Club with a total of six senior appearances to his name.
The Blues announced earlier this week that youngsters Aristote Nsiala and James Wallace had penned fresh one-year deals.
Nsiala is determined to justify the club’s faith in him by figuring more prominently in the Blues’ senior squad next season.
The 19-year-old defender said: “Pre-season is one of the main elements of the season for a lad my age, because you're given the chance to show what you can do.
“You can't come back for pre-season behind schedule, you've got to be right up there, do well from the start and stay at that level.
“It's going to be a tough season, but my target is to come back stronger in the summer and see how it goes from there.
“I would love to get on the bench a few more times this year.”