Everton have been asked to beat Nottingham Forest to sign Neal Maupay.
The Premier League rivals are battling to land the Brighton striker, who has been described as an excellent choice for the injured Toffees.
Frank Lampard suffered knocks at the start of his Premier League campaign with striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin among the first-team stars ruled out.
The England international was ruled out for six weeks with a knee injury he picked up in training days before Everton’s season opener against Chelsea – which ended in a 1-0 defeat by Lampard’s men against his former club.
The boss has since been on the hunt for attacking reinforcements, with Chelsea striker Armando Broja among the players linked with a move to Goodison Park.
Maupay is another reported target for the Toffees, although they now face competition from Nottingham Forest who appear to have taken the lead in the race for the Brighton star.
The Daily Telegraph reports that Forest have opened talks over a £15m transfer for the 25-year-old Frenchman, and the striker will miss the Seagulls’ Premier League clash against Newcastle while talks take place.
But former Premier League star Trevor Sinclair has suggested Everton pull their finger and hijack the deal.
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“I like him as a player, I think he is certainly a Premier League striker,” the talkSPORT pundit said, speaking live from Villa Park as Everton took on Aston Villa on Saturday.
“He works very well and he has a fantastic personality. He’s got character, a bit of sass about him.
“The team I’m watching now, they need a striker who has quality, and I don’t think he would fit in at Everton.
“You can see the Everton forwards huffing and puffing, so if Maupay is available you couldn’t get this signing in quickly enough.
“They’re struggling in that No.9 spot right now, Everton. They have three wingers playing, one of them as a centre-forward, today and the levels are so high in the Premier League that you need a special centre-forward to play in that area.
“And if you have Maupay possibly available, I think Frank Lampard would be wise to try and get him. Lampard needs to find a solution, and that player could be Neal Maupay.
“We want to see Maupay play. He’s a personality, he scores goals, he’s an artist, he’s shown he’s good enough to play at this level.
“When you talk about Scousers, they have personality, they have character, and I think he would react positively to being around the people of Liverpool.
“They would love it!” He has a bit of himself, he has an edge, and you have to have that to play at Goodison Park or Anfield, and I think he would be an absolute hit if he went to Everton.
If Everton miss out and Forest win the battle for Maupay, it could be the 16th new arrival at the newly-promoted club, taking their summer spending to £125m.
Watford striker Emmanuel Dennis passed his medical with the club on Friday with a £15million fee agreed for his signing, while former Crystal Palace midfielder Cheikhou Kouyate is set to arrive on a free transfer and Switzerland international Remo Freuler also joined for £8million in three deals completed this week.
And it is claimed that Forest are not done there, with boss Steve Cooper planning to sign another winger and left-back before the transfer window closes on September 1.
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