Transfer rumour: Everton unsure about price tag for City star

Max Aarons of Norwich and Max Bird of Derby County in action during the Sky Bet Championship match a

Max Aarons in action during Norwich City's 1-0 win at Derby County on Saturday - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Everton are reportedly keen to sign Norwich City right-back Max Aarons this summer but are unsure about the big price tag the Canaries are expected to demand for the England Under-21 international.

The latest report about Aaons' future comes from The Times, suggesting the Premier League side see the 21-year-old Canaries star as an option as they look to solve their ongoing issues at right-back.

The links follow on from renowned transfer expert Fabrizio Romano, who has over 2.5 million Twitter followers and works for Sky Sports Italy and the Guardian, stating in February that Everton are working on a deal for Aarons.

At the time Romano claimed German giants Bayern Munich had also opened talks but were unsure of a value of around £30million, and said that Manchester United had also scouted the City academy product.

Arsenal, Tottenham and AC Milan are among the many clubs linked with Aarons by major media outlets in the past year, with Barcelona opening talks about a move in September before signing USA international Sergino Dest from Ajax and Roma reportedly the team that made a bid during the January transfer window of this year.

MORE: Aarons on the January bid that City turned down

The latest report from The Times suggests that Everton are looking to 'haggle down' the asking price of £30m, despite Norwich being on the verge of sealing promotion back to the Premier League and already being financially stable.

The report cites Ben Godfrey's success at Goodison Park since joining the Toffees from City at the start of this season, in a deal reportedly worth an initial £20m, which could rise to £25m.

Carlo Ancelotti is in need of a long-term successor to club legend Seamus Coleman, with the Irishman turning 33 later this year and only having made 11 league starts this season due to injury issues.

Godfrey and Mason Holgate have been used on the right of defence at times this season but both are primarily seen as centre-backs moving forward, while academy product Jonjoe Kenny, 24, was only given one league start after returning from a season on loan at Schalke before being allowed to join Celtic on loan in January.

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The Times correctly point out that Aarons is under contract at Norwich until 2024, so will be in a strong position to negotiate, and also claim that the consistent defender is "keen to move to Merseyside".

VERDICT: Everton would seem a good fit for Aarons, if he is to move on this summer, having remained with the Canaries following relegation from the Premier League.

That's emphasised by the success of Godfrey and there being a genuine opening for a right-back, at an upwardly mobile club which is looking to play attacking football under the stewardship of a top manager.

That would appear to suit the former Luton Town trainee perfectly. However, the narrative hasn't shifted. Norwich are in a strong position financially and won't be forced to sell unless a sufficiently big bid arrives.

Stuart Webber and Daniel Farke have both admitted that sometimes players outgrow clubs, as seen with Godfrey and James Maddison previously, so it would be difficult to deny Aarons a move to a club which could be playing European football next season.

MORE: City rejected Aarons' transfer interest

His exit would require a replacement though, with the promising Bali Mumba still only 19 and inexperienced and Sam Byram needing to prove he has recovered from over a year out from two hamstring operations, as he targets proving he has the fitness to match his top-flight ability during pre-season.

Aarons may only he have one goal and three assists to his name this season but has played the most minutes of any of Daniel Farke's players, starting 40 matches and continuing the superbly consistent form he has shown since breaking through as an 18-year-old.

His attacking statistics back up his creative relationship with Emi Buendia on the right side of City's attack as well, ranking 23rd in the division for key passes and dribbles per game, averaging 1.4 for both.

Having also earned 21 caps with the England Under-21s during the last couple of years, the full-back will rightfully be ambitious to continue building his profile in the pursuit of one day becoming a full international.

A report from the CIES Football Observatory in February predicted Aarons was among the top 10 players under 23 years of age who were on course to become a full England international.

He faces strong competition from players including Kyle Walker, Kieran Trippier, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Reece James, Tariq Lamptey and Aaron Wan-Bissaka, who joined Manchester United in 2019 in a deal reportedly worth up to £50m, having been named Crystal Palace's Player of the Season.

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