Everton step up pursuit of Arsenal striker target

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Everton are pushing ahead with plans to sign Arsenal target Michy Batshuayi, who has been identified as a possible successor for on-loan Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku, reports the Daily Mail.

The Standard Liege starlet is wanted by Toffees boss Roberto Martinez to fill the void that will be left by Lukaku when he leaves Goodison Park at the end of the season.

Lukaku has enjoyed another productive loan spell away from Stamford Bridge, after Jose Mourinho allowed him to leave west London in search of more regular first-team football, than he was getting at Chelsea.

Batshuayi - a fellow Belgian - is seen as a like-for-like replacement for the Blues front-man, and Everton hope to negotiate a deal before the close of the transfer window this month.

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger has also been credited with an interest in bringing the 20-year-old to the Premier League, as Arsenal continue their search for striker reinforcements at the Emirates Stadium.

Everton hope to secure Batshuayi's signature before Arsenal ramp up their reported interest, and plan to loan the Standard Liege star to domestic rivals Anderlecht for the remainder of the 2013/14 campaign.

The Merseyside club's transfer intentions are proving to be a stumbling block at present, but Martinez knows that as long as the Toffees meet the player's £6.7million release clause, Standard Liege will be powerless to prevent Batshuayi from leaving.

A number of other clubs are also believed to be monitoring the situation, of a player that has netted 16 goals in the Belgian Pro League this season, with Stoke City and Borussia Dortmund joining Arsenal in watching intently.

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