Carlo Ancelotti can sign a top-draw upgrade on Yerry Mina in SSC Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly, as Farhad Moshiri looks to back the Everton manager in the transfer market once again.
According to talkSPORT, Ancelotti is eying a cut-price deal for Koulibaly as he looks to be reunited with the Senegalese star.
The Italian coached Koulibaly for 18-months during his time in charge of the Serie A side, a period in which he lauded the 29-year-old as “the best defender in the world”.
Ancelotti now hopes he can convince Koulibaly to follow him to Goodison Park, as the former Liverpool and Manchester United target is expected to be valued at far less than the £89m that Napoli had demanded last year.
The Napoli star’s precise valuation remains to be seen, but Blues owner Moshiri is expected to back Ancelotti in the coach’s efforts to land his man.
Everton feel they have the right manager at the helm in Ancelotti, so will present the funds the 61-year-old feels are needed to sustain the club’s challenge for a consistent top-six spot.
Recent reports had suggested that Ancelotti has marked Koulibaly as his top defensive target for the summer market, as he does not believe Everton’s current options have the ability to play together in the long-term.
Ancelotti’s doubt in the talents of his current centre-back group, apart from Ben Godfrey, were also noted last month, with the Daily Mail claiming that questions marks had arisen over the Italian’s best possible pairing.
The question marks that arose over Everton’s current centre-half options added that Mina could be moved on at the end of the season, seemingly having failed to imprint a positive impression on Ancelotti.
Mina had been a pillar of the Toffees backline before sustaining a calf injury at home to Manchester City last month, with the Colombian only failing to open four Premier League fixtures from a possible 23.
He returned to the line-up for last weekend’s FA Cup quarter-final defeat to Manchester City, but his long-term presence appears to be up in the air with Koulibaly being linked.
Ancelotti has previously questioned the performances of Mina, with the Blues boss noting in September how the 26-year-old was not aggressive enough in shutting down West Bromwich Albion whilst Grady Diangana opened the scoring.
“Yerry had an average game, I think he could be more aggressive and do more with the ball,” Ancelotti said, via quotes by the Liverpool Echo. “The only aspect we have to look at is him being more aggressive when he can press the opening.”
Reports of an uncertain future and interest in Koulibaly would suggest those concerns are still present, as the £45m-rated Napoli star – who former Chelsea star Craig Burley claims is “fantastic” – would offer Ancelotti a superb upgrade on Mina.
Ancelotti knows Koulibaly well from his time in Naples and clearly thought highly of him, having claimed the 43-cap international was worth as much as €150m (£130m) in 2019 and that there was “no question” that he would be staying.
Now, the question is whether Ancelotti can convince Koulibaly to leave southern Italy for Merseyside, and offer the Everton boss the defensive player he seems to feel is missing.
AND in other news, an “exceptional” Everton figure is being eyed by a Premier League rival…