Everton have landed a huge boost in the race to sign Kalidou Koulibaly, with Fabrizio Romano claiming that the Napoli defender “would be interested” in a reunion with Carlo Ancelotti.
While speaking with Give Me Sport, transfer guru Romano has claimed that Koulibaly may consider a move to the Premier League this summer.
The Senegalese star has been widely linked with a switch from the Serie A, with Everton said to have marked Koulibaly as their top defensive target and that Ancelotti is willing to sell Yerry Mina to fund a deal.
Napoli are expected to hold out for €50m (£42.5m) to sell Koulibaly, who also has suitors in Bayern Munich and Manchester City, having lowered their £89m asking price from last summer to ward off interest from Manchester United.
Romano notes that Koulibaly was close to joining Manchester City in 2020, but adds that the opportunity to be reunited with Ancelotti may prove more attractive.
“I think he would be interested because he’s always had this attractive situation with the Premier League,” Romano said, when asked if Koulibaly would consider a reunion.
“He’s always been attracted by the Premier League clubs.
“Also, last summer, he was really close to Manchester City, so his agent is strong with Premier League clubs.”
Romano claiming that Koulibaly would be interested in a move to Goodison Park and being reunited with Ancelotti will come as a huge boost for Everton, given the 29-year-old is noted to be the Toffees’ top defensive target for the summer market.
However, Everton still have a relative mountain to climb in order to obtain the 43-cap enforcer’s services in the off-season due to the rival competition, plus the Merseyside outfit’s need to first sell Mina in order to raise the necessary funds.
Finding a suitor for Mina should now become priority number one for Marcel Brands, so that the Blues’ Director of Football can limit the opportunities for the likes of Bayern Munich and Manchester City to strike a deal.
Ancelotti was a huge advocate of Koulibaly’s talents during his time in charge of Napoli, so it is no wonder that the Italian is now seemingly keen to acquire the £195,000-per-week titan amid questions over his best defensive pairing.
The Toffees manager described Koulibaly as “the best defender in the world” back in 2019, and strongly believes that the 6 ft 1 centre-back owns a place among the greats of the game.
“Koulibaly belongs to the category of [Paolo] Maldini, [Lilian] Thuram, Thiago Silva and Sergio Ramos. He’s very intelligent,” Ancelotti once told La Stampa, via quotes shared by Football-Italia.
“Usually those who are as strong and quick as him think nothing else is needed to resolve problems. I divide players into optimists and pessimists. He’s a pessimist, he knows that [pace and strength] isn’t enough, so he’s very attentive and he has a strong character.”
It remains to be seen if that character will be on show in the Premier League wearing royal or sky blue next season, but Romano’s comments will undoubtedly come as a boost for Everton.
Click here to see the full interview with Fabrizio Romano.
AND in other news, Everton can potentially save £13m by turning to this Max Aarons alternative…