Everton join race for Zenit star Sardar Azmoun

Everton are set to join the battle to land Zenit St Petersburg forward Sardar Azmoun, 90min understands.

The prolific Iranian is set to be available for nothing next summer when his contract in Russia expires, and he is inevitably attracting plenty of interest from across Europe having scored nine times in 19 games so far in 2021/22.

Clubs in Italy, Spain, France and Germany have all made contact with the 26-year-old’s agents, but there is also strong interest from England.

West Ham, Tottenham and Arsenal have previously been linked with the striker, and 90min understands Everton are now ready to mount a strong bid too.

Azmoun confirmed Spurs’ summer bid in September, as well as offers from Lyon, Bayer Leverkusen and Roma, but Zenit refused to let him leave while he was under contract and still so important to the team

The Toffees are likely to lose Brazilian star Richarlison in 2022, and Azmoun is seen a possible replacement. The club’s owner Farhad Moshiri – who is also of Iranian descent – has long been a fan of the player.

Technical director Marcel Brands is also a long-term fan of Azmoun and attempted to sign the player during his time at PSV Eindhoven.

Azmoun has spent his entire footballing career in Russia, after Rubin Kazan picked him up as a 17-year-old. He joined Rostov before returning to Kazan and then was snapped up by Zenit in 2019.

The centre-forward has impressed with Zenit, grabbing 61 goals in 102 games, and he now faces a big decision in the New Year: whether to stay in Russia, where he has a big contract offer, or to move on to a top European league.

Azmoun is also the leading light for Iran’s national team, who are on the brink of qualification for the World Cup in Qatar where he is set to be one of the faces of the first ever Middle Eastern finals.

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