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Everton may need club-record fee for Koulibaly

Everton’s transfer window is currently plodding along at a snail’s pace.

Rafa Benitez has yet to conclude any business and they are now being left behind by others in the market.

On the chalkboard

One of the key areas that Everton need to strengthen in this summer is in the middle of defence.

Ben Godfrey stood out last term after his move from Norwich, ending the campaign on the periphery of Gareth Southgate’s England squad.

However, they could do with providing some more competition for the Englishman and Michael Keane. Mason Holgate had a shoddy end to the season and Yerry Mina has been linked with the exit door.

One solution was thought to be Ben White. Everton were ready to one-up Arsenal’s bid for the centre-back but a £50m agreement has been reached between the Gunners and Brighton.

Should Everton spend big on Ben White?

No chance!

No chance!

Yes please!

Yes please!

Consequently, the Toffees will need to look elsewhere in order to find a new defensive recruit.

A further blow

Everton have lined up some eye-catching acquisitions this summer with Juventus defender Merih Demiral on their radar.

However, if they’re searching for White’s alternative in the form of Kalidou Koulibaly, they may also have to forget all about it.

We’ve raved about the Senegalese defender on Football FanCast over the last week after it was reported that Benitez was keen on a reunion.

The Napoli star featured 39 times under the Spaniard in Italy and the duo clearly have a healthy relationship.

Unfortunately, they look set to be priced out of a move. £35m was thought to be the initial asking price but an update from Fabrizio Romano should leave him gutted.

The journalist said earlier this week: “It could be a possibility only if Everton will be prepared to spend a lot of money, because last summer Napoli were turning down a proposal from Manchester City for €65m and I think they will be on the same point.  

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Guess the obscure Everton players...who is standing next to Lookman?

“Okay, the player is not so young, but he’s the star, one of the stars in Napoli and if they want to sign him it is not around €40m. I see some reports from Italy saying €40m/€45m, I’m told that it’s more than this. It’s far more than this, around €70m, something like this to sign Koulibaly, so it won’t be so easy.”

Considering the qualities the 30-year-old has at his disposal, this should be a devastating blow.

Everton have spent big in recent years but a €70m (£60m) fee would topple their transfer record by a mighty £15m after Gylfi Sigurdsson signed for £45m back in 2017.

After the financial year that most Premier League teams have had, that feels completely out of the realm of possibility.

Everton’s new manager will have to focus on other targets.

AND in other news, Rafa must seal Everton swoop for “special” 13-goal bully who left Pickford heartbroken…

Article title: Everton may need club-record fee for Koulibaly

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