Everton could be starting their transfer business early but The Athletic’s Everton correspondent Paddy Boyland fears that the club’s interest in Gabriel Magalhaes being leaked is a bad sign, speaking on the latest episode of the Gwlad Tidings podcast (March 20).
Carlo Ancelotti started off strongly in his reign as Everton manager but recent results indicate that there is plenty of improvement needed, particularly in defence.
The three and four goals conceded away at Arsenal and Chelsea respectively throw doubt on Everton’s back four, so it is little surprise that the Italian boss is seeking reinforcements in that area.
That may be greeted as a positive by some Evertonians but the news is not so good in Boyland’s eyes, as he believes the fact that the story has broke in March is a sign that a deal is unlikely to be completed.
Speaking on The Athletic’s Gwlad Tidings podcast, he said:
“I’m always slightly sceptical when these rumours come out now. We’re only in March and it almost feels like this has come out too early. We hope from a club perspective, from a supporter perspective, is that Everton do the business behind closed doors, interest is not leaked and then the deal is kind of just announced maybe in May. Everton say we’ve signed a pre-contract with Gabriel.
“The fact this has come out in March suggests to me that people want this information out. It might be Lille trying to drive up an asking price, it might be the agent looking to drum up extra interest. It might be the agent looking to force Everton’s hand and get the deal over the line even sooner. Everton might want to look like their busy in the transfer market, although that’s the least likely option here.”
Boyland is right to suggest that there could be ramifications of this news breaking, but he has failed to understand the positive effect of this development.
Everton’s interest being made public knowledge causes issues as it may lead other clubs to make their move or for his reported £30m price tag to change, as the journalist suggests, but it should also have an impact on the current Toffees players.
If Keane or Mina are aware of the interest in the 22-year-old then it should motivate them to improve and up their performances in the remaining matches of the season, otherwise they risk being sold.
As a result, Everton should benefit from defensive improvement and if the centre-back pair still fall below the standard required, then it could act as confirmation to Ancelotti that they simply aren’t good enough.
Gabriel’s 1.8 tackles and 3.3 clearances per game show where his best attributes lie, and his Champions League experience could give him an advantage over Everton’s current defenders when it comes to winning Ancelotti’s trust, so it is clear to see why the interest is there.
In other news, Everton fans have been reacting to the club’s interest in one of the most highly-rated prospects in Europe…