Everton defender Niels Nkounkou will be ‘immediately sold’ by AS Saint-Etienne this summer if they activate a clause to sign him permanently from the Toffees.

That’s according to Le Progrès, who say the French side are hoping to ‘double’ their money quickly with a sale of the defender.

Nkounkou joined Saint-Etienne on loan from Everton in the January transfer window after an unsuccessful spell at Cardiff was brought to an end.

He’s been a revelation since his arrival at the Ligue 2 club, managing six goals and eight assists in 18 games in the league so far.

They’re determined to sign him on a permanent basis if they can and, fortunately, have an option to do so, having negotiated a purchase clause in his loan deal from Everton.

But it seems they have no intention of keeping him long term, with Le Progrès reporting that ‘it will be difficult’ for them to keep Nkounkou beyond the end of the season.

They explain that if the Ligue 2 side are going to exercise the purchase option for him, which is slightly more than €2m, then he will be ‘immediately sold’ after that decision is made.

That’s because while Nkounkou is ‘having a blast’ where he is and enjoying life, he has already received several contacts from teams in Ligue 1.

Thus, Nkounkou have the chance to make an instant profit, something they intend to do by at least doubling their €2m outlay and get funds for their own transfer window plans.

That will surely annoy those in charge at Everton, who will be hoping Saint-Etienne don’t have the money for that clause so they can sell Nkounkou for a healthy profit themselves instead.