Everton continue to be linked with a January move for unsettled Lazio playmaking maestro Luis Alberto, who was formerly on the books of Merseyside rivals Liverpool.

An Italian radio outlet, aptly named Radio Radio, has added further fuel to the fire after their journalist Ilario Di Giovambattista claimed that the Toffees’ manager Carlo Ancelotti has specifically requested the signing of Alberto from Lazio.

It is claimed that the coach ‘fell in love’ with the player and personally asked Everton’s board to get in touch with the Serie A side to sign the 28-year-old.

The Spanish attacking midfielder has been the subject of intense media coverage recently after a public scandal in which he slammed the club’s decision to buy its own private jet – leading to claims that Lazio are keen to sell.

Di Giovambattista was clear on Ancelotti’s enchantment with the player, saying: “I tell you that Everton wants Luis Alberto. He enchanted Carlo Ancelotti, who fell completely in love… So the coach asked the English club to contact Lazio, obviously at the right time perhaps in the January window, even if I think it is impossible to negotiate with President Lotito in January.

“However, even this latest story involving the Spaniard could have made the delay break a bit. Undoubtedly Carlo Ancelotti would like to bring him back to England.”

Despite being recognised as an essential part of the Lazio setup, his strained relationship with some senior board members has meant that he could be put up for sale, according to separate reports from Gazzetta Dello Sport.

As a result, Everton may be able to secure a cut-price deal for the playmaker, who joined Lazio for just £3.6m having never truly taken to life at Anfield after his switch from Sevilla in 2013.

Few would argue that Alberto wouldn’t be an attractive signing. He has featured in 144 matches in all competitions for Lazio and he has been directly involved in no fewer than 71 goals – just under one every other game.

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Alberto possesses strong creative qualities and it is unsurprising that Ancelotti would be enamoured by the player’s skill.

He could end up being a good experienced alternative to reported long-term target Isco if Everton fail in their pursuit to bring the Real Madrid playmaker to Goodison Park.