MAROUANE FELLAINI has emerged as a target for moneybags Russian side Zenit St Petersburg.
Fellaini is in demand across Europe on the strength of his excellent form for Everton, the Belgian international netting his eighth goal of the campaign in the 1-1 draw at champions Manchester City last Saturday.
The player declared last month that he would be happy to stay at Goodison beyond the end of the season provided the club ensured Champions League qualification.
But that has not deterred Zenit, coached by Luciano Spalletti, from plotting a move for the 25-year-old during the January transfer window, according to sources in Russia.
A spokesperson for Zenit said: “The management team expect to strengthen the midfield during the winter transfer window.
“The signings will be players of very high quality. For example, the Belgium international Marouane Fellaini is on the list – he has proved himself in his games for Everton.”
Zenit, who are bankrolled by Russian gas giants Gazprom, flexed their new-found financial muscle in September when they signed Fellaini’s compatriot, midfielder Alex Witsel, from Benfica for £32m and splashed out an identical fee on Porto striker Hulk.
Zenit acknowledge the need to further bolster their midfield given Konstantin Zyryanov, 35, and 36-year-old Sergei Semak are in the twilight of their careers, and hope the presence of Witsel can persuade Fellaini to turn his back on the Premier League.
Moyes, though, has no intention of parting with the Belgian in January with his team challenging for a top-four berth.
Fellaini will aim to match his Everton-best tally of nine goals in a season when Tottenham Hotspur visit Goodison on Sunday.
David Moyes’s side have drawn seven of their last nine games although the two most recent stalemates have been against leading rivals Arsenal and Manchester City.