Marcel Brands must increase his efforts to see Everton sign Lucas Vazquez this summer after AC Milan reportedly met with the Real Madrid forward’s agent.
According to Calciomercato, Rossoneri technical director Paolo Maldini has held several meetings with Vazquez’s representatives over a free transfer to the San Siro once his Galacticos contract expires in June.
The Serie A giants are keen to see Vazquez put pen to paper on a deal with Stefano Pioli’s side, as the 30-year-old’s profile perfectly suits their desired checklist in being a mature player who is comfortable operating across the right-hand channel.
Vazquez’s priority is said to remain earning a new deal with Los Blancos, but there is a large gap between his request of a €5m-a-season (£83.5k per week) contract and the maximum €4m-a-year (£67k per week) terms offered by the Santiago Bernabeu hierarchy.
Milan are understood to face further competition from Manchester United, Bayern Munich and Inter Milan for the well-rounded dynamo, who reports in Spain have previously suggested marked Everton as his preferred destination should he leave Madrid.
Everton were claimed to have offered Vazquez a move to Goodison Park last month, as Carlo Ancelotti put plans in place to secure James Rodriguez’s continued commitment by reuniting the Colombian with a former Galacticos teammate.
Ancelotti and Brands clearly face a tough challenge to get Vazquez’s signature on paper, with the winger dismissing speculation over a move away from Real Madrid earlier this week.
“What I concentrate on is the present. I’m really enjoying myself this season because I’m playing and that’s what makes me happy,” he said, via quotes shared by Goal. “A contract extension? I was and will always be a Real Madrid man.”
Milan meeting with Vazquez’s agent once again will come as a blow for Ancelotti in his efforts to bring the Real Madrid forward to Everton on a free transfer this summer, but the race is not yet over for Brands to move Goodison Park to the front of the queue.
The Toffees’ director of football still has time on his side to sing the Merseysiders’ praises and land Ancelotti a cog in the Italian’s plans to retain Rodriguez, should the Colombian still have any doubts over his future in royal blue.
Signing Vazquez could also strengthen two positions in Ancelotti’s squad, as the £13.5m-rated winger has proven throughout the campaign that he is able to thrive and not just cover for the perennially-injured Dani Carvajal at right-back.
Vazquez has featured 19 times as a wide defender for Zinedine Zidane’s team this season compared to 14 appearances on the wing, while offering five of his seven assists across all competitions from full-back.
After scoring and assisting in a 2-0 La Liga win over Celta Vigo in January, Zidane also praised Vazquez’s contributions in an attacking role. “It’s not the fact that I like him so much, it’s that he’s doing very well,” the Galacticos boss said, via quotes shared by One Football. “He’s very reliable, very committed and I’m happy with what he’s doing.”
If Real Madrid are unwilling to offer Vazquez the contract that he feels he deserves, their loss could be Everton’s gain if Brands is able to edge out the widespread rival interest.