Marcel Brands must block Everton from signing Merih Demiral in the summer transfer window after Juventus reportedly set a £34.5m valuation on Carlo Ancelotti’s target.
According to Calciomercato, the Old Lady have warmed to the potential departure of Demiral in the off-season after previously deeming the Turkey international to be non-transferable.
Juve Sporting Director Fabio Paratici is a keen advocate of the 23-year-old’s potential and resisted Premier League and Serie A approaches for his services in January, but needs to raise €100m (£86m) in profit this summer.
As such, the Turin powerhouse have eased their position on Demiral and will listen to offers for a permanent transfer, but have set a €40m (£34.5m) asking price and will not entertain any discussions over a loan deal.
Juventus being willing to listen to offers will come as a boost for Ancelotti, who Gazzetta dello Sport had claimed would welcome Demiral at Everton after rejecting player-plus-cash deals involving Aaron Ramsey, Adrien Rabiot or Federico Bernardeschi for Moise Kean.
The Bianconeri were claimed to have put forward the quartet in recent discussions as they would be unable to match the Blues’ €50m (£43m) demands for Kean, and would hope that the inclusion of a player would result in a more amicable agreement being reached.
Demiral has only started 10 of his 14 appearances in the Serie A this season under Andrea Pirlo, partly due to spells on the sidelines with muscle and thigh injuries and contracting coronavirus while on international duty.
Juventus recorded three clean sheets in the league fixtures that Demiral started, while shutting out two opponents in the Champions League and two in the Coppa Italia including Serie A leaders Inter Milan.
While Ancelotti may be willing to include Demiral in any potential player-plus-cash exchange for Kean, Brands must step in and block the deal being agreed if Juventus are insistent on holding Everton to a £34.5m valuation.
Allowing Kean to return to Turin in a deal that would return less than £10m in cash would be considered a grave error by the Toffees’ Director of Football, who would then need to operate shrewdly in the summer market to replace the Italian.
Everton are expected to target a new centre-forward in the off-season if Kean departs and Joshua King leaves at the end of his contract in June, with Ancelotti otherwise content with his supporting options to Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison.
The Blues would also be in effect paying a large sum on potential once again, which failed to prove worthwhile during Kean’s time on Merseyside before joining PSG on loan with the 21-year-old only scoring twice in 31 Premier League games following his £25m arrival.
Demiral is by far not a finished product, either, with the centre-back – who Maurizio Sarri claimed was “bursting with energy” during his time in Turin – slammed by the Italian press last month after Juventus crashed out of the Champions League to FC Porto.
In snippets shared by Football-Italia, Corriere dello Sport wrote ‘the mistake that leads to Porto’s penalty is unforgivable,’ as his actions were ‘naïve and hasty, like a defender who doesn’t think.’
Tuttosport also suggested Demiral was ‘too impulsive,’ while La Repubblica claimed his ‘absurd’ actions that led to the penalty was just ‘one of many useless’ moves he made.
Demiral may have sizable backers in his corner who believe in his potential, but the fee Everton would need to agree to acquire that is surely too much for Brands to sanction.