SWEDEN defender Olof Mellberg has emerged as a surprise summer transfer target for Everton.
But the ECHO understands Blues boss David Moyes is yet to make a formal approach for the veteran, who is currently out of contract at Greek side Olympiakos.
The former Aston Villa defender would be available on a free transfer, having failed to agree an extension to his current contract, and would add central defensive cover to Moyes’ ranks – an area in which the Blues were caught short at times last season.
At 34, Mellberg would represent another short-term solution, though his performances for Sweden at Euro 2012 show he still has plenty to offer.
His Premier League experience, garnered during seven years with Aston Villa between 2001 and 2008, would also prove valuable.
Moyes is expected to finally offload Joseph Yobo this summer, with the Nigerian ready to complete a permanent switch to Turkish side Fenerbahce, where he has spent the past two seasons on loan.
Fenerbahce had been expected to tie up a deal for the 31-year-old, but talks stalled as the Turks baulked over Everton’s asking price.
Further dialogue is expected soon, and though Everton are privately disappointed that Fener’s valuation of Yobo falls some way short of theirs, they are eager to lower their wage bill by offloading an unwanted high-earner.
Moyes, meanwhile, has been linked with a move for Inter Milan striker Luc Castaignos, who is set to depart the Serie A giants this summer.
The 19-year-old would, however, be valued at around the £5m mark, meaning a switch to Goodison Park is unlikely. Premier League new-boys West Ham United are also believed to hold an interest in the former Feyenoord man.