Ronald Koeman admits he was in Malaga watching Sandro as Everton wait on decision from Lukaku's replacement

The Dutchman was spotted on the Costa del Sol as he observed Steve Walsh's top recommendation in person

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The Independent Football

Ronald Koeman has admitted he was in Malaga at the weekend to watch top striker target Sandro Ramirez.

The 21-year-old striker has a release clause of just over £5million and is expected to leave the Rosaleda this summer after an impressive first year away from Barcelona.

Having been brought through at La Masia, Sandro was frustrated in his search for first-team opportunities at the Nou Camp and finally made the decision to leave last summer. 

He signed for Malaga amid interest from Tottenham, but after 14 goals in La Liga it will be nearly impossible for the Costa del Sol club to hold onto him.

Everton are very keen and Koeman flew out to watch the forward after recommendations from regional scouts and then recruitment chief Steve Walsh. The Dutchman, a Champions League winner with Barcelona, couldn't help but be noticed though and caught the eye of Spanish journalists.

"I can't say I wasn't in Malaga," he laughed in his press conference on Thursday. "I have a famous face."

Suitably impressed by the Canary Islander's performance, Koeman sanctioned a push for Sandro's signature but faces strong competition from Sevilla, Valencia and Villarreal.

While the Toffees are offering the best wage packet, Sevilla could offer Champions League football and a chance to remain in Spain for the young forward.