‘I want’ - six-goal Everton player casts doubts over his future amid ‘buy option’

Everton transfer news as Niels Nkounkou speaks out after thriving on loan at Saint-Etienne.

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Niels Nkounkou has admitted he's unsure about what the future holds for him beyond the end of the season.

The defender has spent the entire 2022-23 campaign on loan away from Everton. He made 18 appearances for Championship side Cardiff City during the first half of the season but registered only one assist. However, after joining Saint-Etienne in January, Nkounkou thrived. He recorded six goals and eight assists in 19 games which saw him nominated for Ligue 2 Player of the Year.

Speaking at the Union Nationale des Footballeurs Professionels ceremony (as per Foot-sur 7), Nkounkou has his sights set on playing in the top flight of a division in 2023-24. However, having spent the past two years away from Goodison Park - having been loaned to Standard Liege in 2021-22 - the former France under-19 international does want to settle down somewhere.

Nkounkou said: "Playing in the first division of a major championship is the ambition of always. We will talk about it quietly at the end of the season. We will discuss with my agents, my family to find out how it will happen and afterwards, I have no particular objectives for the future.

“I want a lot of things for my future. Stability to begin with, because I moved around a lot. Staying in Saint-Etienne can be a very good solution too. This club should not be neglected. We will see after what I can have more."

Nkounkou joined Everton from Marseille in 2020 and has made seven outings to date. The 22-year-old has two years remaining on his current Goodison Park contract.

However, it is reported that Saint-Etienne hold the option to purchase Nkounkou on a permanent basis - and they will immediately sell him for a profit.

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