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Everton may not be able to sign Moussa Dembele due to the departure of Franck Lampard

The departure of Frank Lampard might see Everton lose out on Lyon attacker Moussa Dembele in a possible boost to Premier League rivals Aston Villa, according to FootMercato.

While Arnaut Danjuma looks to have been frightened off by all the instability at Goodison Park — opting against joining a now-managerless Everton team in favour of Tottenham Hotspur – a same situation appears to be unfurling with Dembele.

The article also claims that the former Fulham, PSG, and Celtic striker wanted to make the move to Merseyside in the month of January.

The presence of Lampard on the Everton touchline, though, was ‘fundamental’ in Dembele’s choice; the former France U21 international was persuaded about the possibility of a return to the UK after meetings with the one-time Chelsea coach.

The future of both Everton and Dembele is uncertain now that Lampard has left. Lyon’s 26-year-old number nine is out of contract in the summer. Even though Dembele is set to become a free agent in only five months, he is likely to depart the Stade OL for a fraction of the £19 million sum Lyon paid Celtic in 2018. However, it remains to be seen whether any of his admirers are prepared to pony up even a knock-down amount.

According to FootMercato, Aston Villa had planned to sign Dembele after his current contract expired on July 1. However, they may change their minds now that Danny Ings has been sold to West Ham United for £12 million and Unai Emery has just Ollie Watkins, an unproven backup centre striker, at his disposal.

Last week, Villa spent a hefty £18 million to acquire Jhon Duran, a forward for the Chicago Fire. However, at age 19, the Colombian player is still a teenager on the world stage. Emery may be hesitant to put him in the deep end before he’s learned to swim.

Dembele, who won the La Liga championship while on loan at Atletico Madrid, has scored twice in 16 appearances so far this season. A total of 22 from 36 appearances in 2021/22, though, is confirmation of the devastation Dembele can wreak when completely healthy and faced with a continuous supply of opportunities.

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