Carlo Ancelotti is set for regret in Everton’s chase of the ideal partner for Dominic Calvert-Lewin, with SSC Napoli’s Arkadiusz Milik reportedly seduced by a move to AS Roma.
According to Corriere dello Sport, Roma have continued to court Milik since the closure of the summer market, having failed to strike an agreement with Napoli that would have allowed the outcast Poland striker to leave the San Paolo Stadium.
The Giallorossi had come to a total understanding with Milik, who travelled to the Italian capital for his obligatory medical checks, before seeing a route out of Napoli slammed shut despite Roma offering €25million (£22.3m) for the 2021-free agent.
Contact has remained ongoing between the striker and Stadio Olimpico natives, who have a €5m-a-year (£86,115-p/w) deal ready for Milik to sign through to 2025, but Roma intend to renegotiate terms with Napoli given the 26-year-old’s expiring contract.
Roma are willing to hold out and sign Milik in the summer for free, however doing so risks the forward’s place in Poland’s squad for next summer’s postponed Euro 2020 tournament after coach Jerzy Brzeczek urged a winter deal.
Milik, described as a “great striker” by Italian journalist Bruno Longhi in 2019, is yet to kick a ball under Gennaro Gattuso this season, with the Italian icon standing firm to his word that he believed the striker’s time in Naples was over at the end of the prolonged 2019/20 campaign.
“When a player believes his time at a club is over and he wants a change of scenery, you have to listen to him,” he told Sky Sport Italia, via quotes by Goal. “You can’t try to keep someone against their will, or it’s difficult to get them to listen or have the right mentality.”
Everton were linked with interest in Milik this summer but, like Roma, failed to get a deal across the line. And much like the Giallorossi, have remained attentive to the 56-cap forward’s situation with reports by The Sun claiming Ancelotti is eying a £10m January bid.
Tottenham Hotspur and AC Milan are also noted to be interested in the attacker, who Ancelotti allegedly considers a top-class back-up to the in-form Calvert-Lewin after allowing Moise Kean to join Paris Saint-Germain on loan and being left underwhelmed by Cenk Tosun.
With Ancelotti said to see Milik as the ideal back-up for Calvert-Lewin, Everton Director of Football Marcel Brands must negotiate a rocky path to acquire the Poland striker or risk leaving the Italian tactician regretting the Blues’ failure.
Ancelotti knows Milik well from his time in Naples, with it noted the former Chelsea, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich coach has not forgotten the 26-year-old’s 28 goals in 56 games, including a hat-trick against Genk in the Champions League during his final match in charge.
In raiding his former club again, after the successful capture of Allan this summer, Ancelotti would also be reuniting with a player he lauded while in charge of Napoli, having claimed the striker is a more complete forward than Mauro Icardi amid links with the Argentine.
“Icardi is a great striker like Milik. The Pole, however, is more complete, even if the Argentine scores more in the box,” Ancelotti told Luna TV, via quotes by Calciomercato. “Talking about Icardi diminishes the value of Milik.”
Though Milik would arrive at Goodison Park very rusty having played no domestic football this season, leading to a lacklustre display for Poland as they lost 2-0 to Italy on Sunday.
Milik failed to register any efforts on goal or key balls following his introduction in the 74th-minute, per SofaScore, having also managed just one shot versus Bosnia & Herzegovina last month.