Carlo Ancelotti should urge Everton to seal the Italian a reunion with SSC Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly and sign a commanding partner for Ben Godfrey this summer.
According to Football Insider, Koulibaly tops Everton’s shortlist for defensive signings after Ancelotti made centre-back upgrades a priority for the next transfer window.
The Italian tactician is understood to be chasing the arrival of a world-class option capable of delivering the same level of impact that Liverpool saw from £75m signing Virgil van Dijk and that Manchester City have benefited from with their £65m capture Ruben Dias.
Everton chiefs are understood to be structuring a deal that would see the Goodison Park outfit sign Koulibaly, despite knowing a move for the Senegalese powerhouse would have little resale value as he turns 30 in June.
Napoli had demanded £69m for Koulibaly’s exit amid interest from Liverpool and Manchester United last summer, but reports by Gazzetta dello Sport via FourFourTwo have claimed the Serie A side are now willing to slash their asking price.
The Diego Armando Maradona Stadium hierarchy believe this summer is the right moment to sell the 43-cap international, as Koulibaly will have two years remaining on his £195,000-per-week contract come the end of the season.
Ancelotti has instructed Director of Football Marcel Brands and his team to target a new centre-half in the off-season, as he does not believe Everton’s current options have the right skill set to work together long-term.
Michael Keane has opened the most Premier League fixtures at centre-half for the former Napoli head coach at 25 from a possible 28 so far this season, while Yerry Mina has started 19, Ben Godfrey has opened 11 of his 21 outings in the centre and Mason Holgate six of 18 appearances.
A move for Everton to sign Koulibaly in the summer would likely still come with a hefty price tag, despite the reports from Italy that Napoli are willing to lower their asking price for the £54m-rated titan.
Koulibaly’s representatives from Lian Sports Group will likely also push for a hefty wage after securing Leroy Sane a £298k-p/w deal when he left Manchester City for Bayern Munich last summer, which was more than three times the salary the German was on at the Etihad Stadium.
But Ancelotti convincing Everton’s owner Farhad Moshiri to sanction a swoop could see the Italian acquire a dream partner for Godfrey, who the Toffees boss is said to consider as the best of his current central defenders and the one with the most potential.
Blues supporters are often bowled over by Godfrey’s performances, as well, with the £20m signing from Norwich City earning a wealth of praise for his efforts against Manchester City in the FA Cup last Saturday despite losing the quarter-final tie.
Koulibaly could be the perfect partner for Godfrey, having been lauded by Kevin Campbell as an “excellent” target for Arsenal last summer, while former Chelsea star Craig Burley claimed “is Koulibaly a great get for most clubs? Absolutely, he is a fantastic centre-half,” amid Liverpool and Manchester United’s interest.
Koulibaly’s experience and knowledge could also help Godfrey fulfil the potential Ancelotti sees in him, even if bringing the 6 ft 1 brute to Goodison Park would likely be an expensive operation for Everton.
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