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Everton have agreed a £33.7 million fee for Lille midfielder Amadou Onana as Frank Lampard continues his efforts to strengthen.
Lampard has been working on several deals while preparing to take on Chelsea on the opening day and the arrival of Onana - a defensive midfielder - will go some way to appeasing the concerns of supporters recognising the need for reinforcement.
Onana, 20, recently made his Belgium debut and was being tracked by several Premier League clubs. Everton have beaten West Ham to his signature.
The midfielder, who previously played for Hamburg in the Bundesliga, will undergo a medical this weekend before finalising his transfer.
Speaking on Thursday, Lampard admitted his need to add to the squad and he is also hoping former Everton midfielder Idrissa Gueye will return to Goodison Park. Everton are closing in on the player they sold to Paris Saint-Germain in 2019.
Lampard is in desperate need of quality as he prepares to take on Chelsea on the opening day. Onana - a defensive midfielder - would go some way to helping.
The 20-year-old recently made his Belgium debut and has been tracked by several Premier League clubs. West Ham are also interested after Onana’s impressive campaign for Lille last season. He previously played for Hamburg in the Bundesliga.
Lampard has been seeking a midfielder all summer but he also goes into the new season needing a striker.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s injury turmoil has continued with a knee injury which Lampard confirmed is expected to rule him out for six weeks.
With the player widely credited with inspiring Everton’s Premier League survival, Richarlison, sold to Tottenham Hotspur, Lampard’s options are thin.
His one senior striker, Salomon Rondon, is suspended for this weekend’s visit of Chelsea.
That could open the door for Dele Alli. Lampard is encouraged by Alli’s commitment in pre-season, although he says tough love may still be needed to get him back to previous heights.
“The first thing Dele needs to do is find consistency in his training,” said Lampard. “For me, full pelt in training is non-negotiable. In pre-season I’ve seen that, but I think he still has to remain patient to a degree in terms of the squad we have.
“He has to tackle every game the same way he tackled the second half of the game against Crystal Palace (at the end of last season) where he came on and impacted.”
Asked what might spark Alli back to the level that made him an England regular, Lampard said: “I think it’s sometimes support and sometimes tough love - because there are things you sometimes have to hear that are serious things that you need to do to get the best out of yourself.”