Everton are weighing up a move for Manchester United striker Danny Welbeck to potentially replace Chelsea loanee Romelu Lukaku, reports suggest.
According to Goal.com, the Merseyside outfit are aware that they will lose Lukaku, with the dominant Belgian frontman set to return to his parent club after spending the entire of the previous campaign proving his Premier League class on loan at Goodison Park.
The same source suggests that Welbeck features prominently on Everton's shortlist of alternative options - actually occupying top spot.
While clearly not as physically imposing as the younger Lukaku, Welbeck - who was named earlier this month as a member of Roy Hodgson's 23-man England squad for this summer's World Cup - has shown glimpses of real quality during his professional career at Old Trafford, yet he did not appear to thrive under the hapless leadership of David Moyes last season.
Such a struggle to impose himself during a difficult 2013/14 season at Manchester United has led to much speculation over Welbeck's immediate future, with recent quotes from the 23-year-old having highlighted a continued frustration on the player's part at not being deployed in his favoured central role.
With Welbeck seemingly disillusioned at being marooned out on the left-hand side, Everton - if they did managed to entice him from Manchester United, of course - would presumably attempt to fully restore his confidence by deploying him as an out-and-out striker.
Whether incoming Red Devils boss Louis van Gaal would be content to lose Welbeck is unclear, although it seems likely that there will be further major upheaval in terms of the playing staff at the club once the experienced and famously strict Dutchman finally takes the helm as Moyes' successor upon the completion of the Netherlands' World Cup campaign.
Van Gaal's positive relationship with compatriot and Dutch captain Van Persie could surely only serve to further limit the opportunities for Welbeck to play centrally next season, so perhaps a move away from Manchester United may be in his best interests.
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