Carlo Ancelotti can land his ideal partner for Ben Godfrey with a summer swoop for Everton to sign AC Milan defender Alessio Romagnoli.
According to Gazzetta dello Sport, the Rossoneri have slapped a €20m (£17m) price tag on Romagnoli amid a contract stand-off.
The centre-back’s agent, Mino Raiola, is pushing for a double-your-money new deal that will see Romagnoli make €6m-a-season (£98k-p/w).
Milan chiefs are reluctant to cave in to Raiola’s demands given the performances of Simon Kjaer and Chelsea loanee Fikayo Tomori, which have seen Romagnoli slip down Stefano Pioli’s pecking order.
Romagnoli missed Milan’s last two Serie A games prior to the international break due to a calf injury, marking the second instance this season that a calf issue has sidelined the Rossoneri captain.
The San Siro natives may now look to sell Romagnoli with his current deal set to expire in 2022, and the centre-half attracting interest from Juventus and FC Barcelona.
Everton have also recently been linked with a potential move for Romagnoli in the next off-season, with Ancelotti said to be keen on signing the Italian and installing him as the new leader of the Goodison Park backline.
Ancelotti is on the hunt for a new centre-half amid doubt in the ability of his current options to play together long-term, while reports have touted SSC Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly as an alternative target.
Milan slapping a £17m price tag on Romagnoli should certainly see key figures at Goodison Park pay attention, as Napoli reportedly value Koulibaly at €50m (£42.5m).
If Napoli’s valuation proves too high for Everton’s taste, Romagnoli would offer a very strong alternative as the Italian may be the dream partner for Godfrey.
Godfrey is likely to start beside whichever defender Everton acquire in the summer market, as Ancelotti is a huge fan of the former Norwich City enforcer and considers him to be the best of his current central defensive options.
But the Toffees do not currently have a single natural left-footed centre-back in their ranks, with Godfrey, Michael Keane, Yerry Mina and Mason Holgate all favouring their right. So does Koulibaly, yet Romagnoli can add that extra dimension.
The 26-year-old Rossoneri leader also has age on his side with Koulibaly turning 30 in June, and was seen by Napoli boss Gennaro Gattuso during his time in charge of Milan to be amongst the best defenders in the Serie A.
“[Mateo] Musacchio and [Cristian] Zapata are important, but I think that Romagnoli is one of the strongest defenders in Italy,” he told Sky Sport in 2018, via quotes by Sempre Milan.
Ex-Milan midfielder Lucas Biglia believes that talent remains, telling La Gazzetta dello Sport via Football-Italia last month: “I would never let him go. Tomori is a good defender, but he is the captain. He would have no problems in finding a new team.”
Whether that new team will be Everton remains to be seen, but Romagnoli is certainly a player the Toffees should consider through his ability to add an extra dimension beside Godfrey next season.
And, given his leadership skills, would offer the perfect compliment alongside the more inexperienced England U21 international.
AND in other news, Everton are tracking a £17m striker with “a wealth of talent”…