Marcel Brands should launch a summer swoop for Everton to sign an ideal Yerry Mina replacement in rumoured target, AC Milan captain Alessio Romagnoli.
According to Il Milanista, Carlo Ancelotti is keen to bring Romagnoli to Goodison Park at the end of the season and make him the new leader of the Toffees backline.
Romagnoli has seen his long-term future at the San Siro cast into doubt with Stefano Pioli growing more at ease with overlooking the 26-year-old, having struck a strong defensive pairing in Simon Kjaer and Fikayo Tomori.
Tomori took over Romagnoli’s place in the Rossoneri side after the AC captain sustained an injury in training, and has impressed since joining on loan in January to the point that Paolo Maldini and Frederic Massara will soon decide on taking up their €28m (£24m) option to purchase the Chelsea-owned enforcer.
Buying Tomori would leave Romagnoli at risk of being sold in the summer with his £107,000-per-week contract due to expire in 2022, and it looking unlikely that the 12-cap Italy international will be offered a new deal.
Romagnoli being made available is likely to pique the interests of Everton and Manchester United, who have both shown a liking in the sought-after £32.5m-rated titan.
Romagnoli was an undisputable leader of Pioli’s Milan side as they strive in search of a first Serie A title since 2011, starting all 20 available league fixtures, but has struggled for game time since the mid-season arrival of Tomori.
Yet former Milan midfielder Lucas Biglia believes clubs would not hesitate to sign Romagnoli in the summer if his services hit the market, telling La Gazzetta dello Sport via Football-Italia: “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. Top clubs like Juventus or Manchester City would sign him without thinking twice.”
Though Brands should be the one signing off on a Premier League move for Romagnoli without thinking twice, thus handing Ancelotti the new defensive leader that the Everton boss is allegedly set to chase.
A move for the 6ft Milan enforcer would also see the Toffees acquire a replacement for Mina, who the Daily Mail recently claimed could be sold at the end of the season as Ancelotti still has doubts over his best centre-back pairing.
Mina and Romagnoli offer a similar level of defensive output on average with their performances in the Premier League and Serie A, with the Colombian averaging 1.0 successful tackles and 1.1 interceptions a game to the Italian’s 0.8 and 1.2 respectively, per SofaScore
Romagnoli also completes 90% of his attempted passes like Mina does on Merseyside, wins 66% of his aerial duels to the 26-year-old’s 68% and provides an identical 1.6 shots.
Yet the Milan star would appear to have Ancelotti’s backing more so than the ex-Barcelona man, and would likely come in to partner Ben Godfrey – who the Toffees boss views as his best current option – in what could be an imperious wall in front of Jordan Pickford’s net.