Everton are back at Finch Farm for pre-season but despite the arrival of Rafa Benitez, there are no fresh faces among the playing staff.
Of course, the Toffees had to contend with major international tournaments but they need to conclude their business sooner rather than later.
Fortunately, Benitez and Marcel Brands are beginning to make headway in the market.
Denzel Dumfries will reportedly become an Everton player while they’ve now submitted a bid for an elite centre-back.
According to Calcio Mercato (via Inside Futbol), the club have made an offer to sign colossal centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly.
Claims emerged earlier this week that suggested the Senegalese defender was attracting the interest of the Merseyside outfit with Benitez keen on a reunion.
The Napoli defender is currently valued at £35m according to 90min.
If Everton are able to get this deal over the line it would be a significant coup.
However, with the defensive stalwart now in his 30s, perhaps suitors are less willing to pay a large sum of money for his services.
Everton desperately need to improve in defence, though. They ended 2020/21 with one of the worst records for goals conceded in the Premier League’s top ten, something a 5-0 defeat to Manchester City on the final day didn’t help.
Koulibaly could bring leadership, power and finesse to a backline that needs some sort of rejigging.
Benitez would surely know how to get the best out of him too after the pair worked together in Naples.
Attracted by the idea of being reunited, it’s evident that the Spaniard adores his qualities. Koulibaly played 39 matches under the 61-year-old’s stewardship between 2013 and 2015.
It was at that time that the Senegal international became more recognised. During the 2014/15 campaign, he earned a career-high WhoScored average match rating of 7.32 in the Champions League.
Koulibaly made a mighty 2.3 interceptions per game, as well as completing 86.8% of his passes. On that evidence, it’s hardly a surprise to see his former teammate, Pepe Reina, label him “extraordinary.”
The defender combines power with technical elegance and would be a huge coup if Benitez can get a deal over the line.
Not only is he one of the game’s elite centre-backs, but Benitez already knows him incredibly well.