Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti and Director of Football Marcel Brands will have to tread carefully in January should the Goodison Park outfit look to revive their interest in SSC Napoli striker Arkadiusz Milik.
According to TuttoMercatoWEB, Everton and Tottenham Hotspur are already prepared to forge plans to sign Milik in January after the 26-year-old failed to secure a move away from the San Paolo Stadium before the international transfer market slammed shut.
It is not considered a guarantee that either the Blues or Spurs will lodge formal offers for Milik, but rather presumed that the foreign track will emerge as his best route out of Naples where the striker is set to spend the next few months in an uncomfortable stand-off.
The £28.8million-rated forward is not currently seen to have a role to play under head coach Gennaro Gattuso, who is only expected to offer Milik minutes in Napoli’s cup fixtures as they look to compete for honours in the Serie A, Europa League and retain the Coppa Italia.
Milik struck home the deciding spot-kick in a 4-2 penalty shoot-out victory over Juventus in June to secure Napoli’s first major trophy in six seasons, but is now inside the final year of his €90,000-per-week (£81.3k-p/w) contract and could choose to leave the San Paolo Stadium as a free agent next summer.
Yet with this year’s UEFA European Championship postponed until 2021, Milik could look to secure a winter deal to ensure he features in his national team’s plans, rather than risk losing his seat on the plane through a lack of competitive game time in 2020/21.
Gattuso has thus far opted not to name Milik in either of his Serie A teamsheets to date this term, despite the forward netting 11 times in 26 league games last season as part of a 14-goal haul across all competitions.
While Ancelotti has historically been one of Milik’s largest supporters, Everton will have to tread carefully around the idea of signing the Poland ace in January should Gattuso continue to overlook his services in the coming months.
Ancelotti will be ill-afforded to splash funds on a striker that could be severely lacking in match fitness, as it could take weeks or even months before Milik is up to speed with the Italian’s system and at a level where he can rival Dominic Calvert-Lewin for a place in the side.
The Everton boss has already snubbed a chance to reunite with Milik, too, with reports earlier this summer suggesting Ancelotti was not keen on his potential signing despite the forward aspiring to secure a move to Goodison Park.
His decision shows a drastic change in thought by Ancelotti, who once stated that he considered Milik to be a more complete option than Mauro Icardi at a time he was being linked with a move to sign the Argentine from Inter Milan.
“I have always had great centre-forward in my career, from [Filippo] Inzaghi to [Zlatan] Ibrahimovic,” Ancelotti told Luna TV, via quotes by Calciomercato in 2019. “Icardi is a great centre-forward like Milik.
“The Pole, however, is more complete, even if the Argentine finalises more inside the area. Talking about Icardi would mean diminishing the value of Milik.”