Ogenyi Onazi once again appears to be attracting transfer interest from Premier League rivals Liverpool and Everton.
Both Merseyside rivals have been credited with an interest in Onazi in the past and, according to recent reports from Italy cited by The Daily Express, they are each once again monitoring the £8 million-rated Lazio midfielder and could make their respective moves prior to the close of the summer transfer window.
Liverpool and Everton are not the only Premier League sides seemingly keen on Onazi, either, with the same source further speculating that Southampton are also tracking him as new manager Ronald Koeman seeks to rebuild the squad at St. Mary's in the aftermath of a raft of high-profile departures.
Liverpool's busy summer
While many Liverpool fans may have been disappointed by the departure of Luis Suarez following his latest ridiculous act that further demonstrated such a chronic lack of self-discipline, one certainly cannot accuse Brendan Rodgers of failing to prove himself active on the transfer front.
With Rickie Lambert and Adam Lallana having already joined from Southampton, the former Watford, Reading and Swansea boss - who took the helm at Anfield two years ago following the dismissal of club legend Kenny Dalglish - has wasted no time in seeking to further strengthen his squad with deals for Emre Can and Lazar Markovic also completed.
A proposed triple swoop for Loic Remy, Divock Origi and Dejan Lovren - the latter another of the Saints' impressive 2013/14 side - would take the club's spending further skyward, although it seems unlikely that they will stop there.
As a solid and dependable central midfielder, Onazi would certainly provide a credible alternative for the likes of Jordan Henderson and the ageing Steven Gerrard at Liverpool.
At 21, the Nigerian international - who featured in every game for his country at the recent World Cup finals before a quite shocking tackle from French counterpart Blaise Matuidi ended his involvement prematurely during the round of 16 - he still has time to develop and this could certainly appeal to former youth coach Rodgers as part of a long-term strategy.
Despite Liverpool's return to prominence under Rodgers last year, Everton's own progress under the tutelage of former Wigan favourite Roberto Martinez must also have made them an increasingly attractive transfer destination.
While the Toffees - unlike their closest rivals - obviously would not be able to offer Onazi immediate Champions League football in the event that they did look to make a concrete offer to prise him away from Serie A, Romelu Lukaku's exploits during a season-long loan spell at Goodison Park should prove how effective Martinez can be in speedily aiding the development of impressionable and talented young players.
Everton's interest in the likes of Onazi and the likelihood of any future bid could well depend on both the future of James McCarthy and the pre-season form of Bosnia and Herzegovina's Muhamed Besic.
The former - who has gone from strength-to-strength at Everton - has recently been linked with Manchester United, while the latter is expected to complete a £4 million move to the club soon after joining Martinez and his charges on their pre-season tour of Thailand.
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