Marcel Brands will have his work cut out trying to seal a summer transfer of Max Aarons with Everton reportedly reluctant to pay Norwich City’s demands.
According to The Times, the Canaries are set to demand around £30m to sell Aarons at the end of the season, which has been deemed too much by the Goodison Park hierarchy.
The Toffees intend to drive a hard bargain in hopes of landing Carlo Ancelotti his new right-back, amid the Italian’s rumoured plans to discover Seamus Coleman’s long-term successor.
Everton rate Aarons highly and are claimed to feel the England U21 international has the ability to deliver a similar impact to Ben Godfrey, who sealed a £20m move from Carrow Road in October.
Ancelotti has often been awash with praise for Godfrey, who has become a fan favourite over his 27 appearances in royal blue to date, despite not being a player fixed on the Italian tactician’s radar before his arrival.
Aarons is now said to be keen on joining his former teammate at Goodison Park, despite Norwich looking set to secure an immediate return to the Premier League with Daniel Farke’s side eight points clear at the top of the Championship standings.
Everton have identified alternative options to Aarons, should the Canaries prove unwilling to lower their asking price, and have been linked with Brighton & Hove Albion’s Tariq Lamptey as well as Diogo Dalot of Manchester United.
It remains to be seen how highly Everton value Aarons and how close their stance is to Norwich’s asking price, but the distance between their valuations marks a huge blow to Brands’ efforts of improving Ancelotti’s right-back options.
Norwich will be in a strong position to hold firm in their demands come the end of the season should they fulfil their promotion push, which would need a devastating turn of events to miss out on with a 15-point lead over the Play-Off places with seven games to go.
Aarons is also under contract at Carrow Road through to the summer of 2024 to see that the Canaries are in no position where they must sell this summer, and will certainly be reluctant to part ways with the defender starting all 40 available Championship fixtures this term.
Everton can take a lot of encouragement from Aarons being keen on a move to Goodison Park, though even that is unlikely to play to their advantage unless the 21-year-old is willing to hand in a transfer request to force through a move.
It was a slightly different story in October when Everton were able to drive down Norwich’s asking price for Godfrey from £30m to seal a £20m move following their relegation, and clearly now face an uphill task to land a player Farke calls “outstanding” in Aarons.