According to The Athletic’s Greg O’Keeffe, Everton have “monitored” Espanyol’s Marc Roca as a potential alternative to their pursuit of Allan.
One of the big names to be linked to be with a move to Goodison Park this summer has been Napoli midfielder Allan, but a deal for the Brazilian has yet to materialise.
Now, O’Keeffe has suggested that if the Toffees can’t lure the 29-year-old away from Naples, they could turn their attentions to Roca, who was a mainstay for Espanyol with 44 appearances across all competitions last season.
He said: “Ancelotti has also been interested in luring another Brazilian, his former Napoli charge Allan, to Merseyside. If not Allan, who at 29 would have no sell-on value, the remit for their new midfielder remains a dynamic, box-to-box player with leadership abilities; something Everton have visibly lacked.
“One who fits that bill, and has been monitored by Everton scouts, is Espanyol’s Marc Roca. The 23-year-old made 35 La Liga appearances for the Barcelona club last season and impressed despite their relegation after finishing bottom of La Liga. Again though, Arsenal are rumoured to be interested and, according to reports in Spain, so are Real Madrid.”
At 23, Roca is considerably younger than Allan, and would give Everton a better chance of recouping their money if they were to sell him down the line.
The Spaniard is also still a couple of years away from reaching his peak, and would be the kind of midfield talent that Carlo Ancelotti could really build around at Goodison Park.
The 6 foot ace is a midfield powerhouse, averaging 2.3 tackles per game in La Liga last season – to put that into context, only Djibril Sidibe managed more in Everton’s squad. Having a player like him to break up the play and protect the back-four will be crucial to ensuring the Toffees don’t concede cheap goals.
If Everton can’t secure Allan for Ancelotti, then Roca seems like a very decent alternative.