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Everton prepare opening bid for Lyon defender Jake O’Brien

Everton prepare opening bid for Lyon defender Jake O'Brien

Everton are preparing an opening bid for Olympique Lyon centre-back Jake O’Brien, according to Ferveur Lyonnaise.

The Toffees are short on defensive reinforcement after selling Ben Godfrey to Europa League winners Atalanta, and O’Brien has been identified as an ideal target to replace the Englishman.

O’Brien only joined Lyon last summer, but an exceptional debut campaign at the Groupama Stadium has attracted interest from Premier League clubs.

West Ham United and Nottingham Forest are also interested in O’Brien, but Everton are looking to beat the competition by launching a formal proposal.

The Toffees are reportedly preparing an opening bid worth £21 million, but it is expected to be turned down, with Lyon holding out for offers of around £30m.

They’re looking to secure a huge profit on the player after signing him from Crystal Palace in a deal worth less than £1m last year.

O’Brien has three years left on his contract, so the Ligue 1 giants are in a solid negotiating position and have refused to lower their demands.

O’Brien was in impressive form for Lyon last season, bagging five goals and two assists in 32 appearances, including a goal in the Coupe de France final against Paris Saint-Germain.

The Republic of Ireland international kept seven clean sheets in the league, averaging 3.6 clearances and 4.7 ball recoveries per 90 minutes.

He also won 58% of his ground duels while his towering 6ft4 frame rendered him nearly unbeatable in aerial duels, boasting a 64% success rate.

O’Brien would be a decent addition to Sean Dyche’s squad, although he’s likely to play backup to James Tarkowski and Jarrad Branthwaite unless Dyche switches to a back three next season.

Tarkowski and Branthwaite established a formidable partnership last season. They were the cornerstone of a solid defence that finished the 2023/24 season with the fourth-best record in the Premier League.

Adding O’Brien to the mix would provide much-needed depth and competition in the squad, which is crucial to Everton’s ambitions for the 2024/25 season.

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