Marcel Brands must seize on a dream scenario for Everton to sign Kalidou Koulibaly with Napoli reportedly considering a swoop for Yerry Mina.
According to Football Insider, Koulibaly’s Serie A side are keen to sign Mina this summer and could look to include the defender in a player-plus-cash exchange.
Mina has seen his future at Goodison Park be thrown into serious doubt with Carlo Ancelotti said to have desires of being reunited with Koulibaly, and marking the Senegalese colossus as his top defensive target.
Everton may have to sell Mina first in order to meet Napoli’s €50m (£43.5m) asking price, though it is only expected that the Colombian – who has emerged as a target for Valencia, Inter Milan and Fiorentina – could fetch around £20m.
Ancelotti has decided to target upgrades at centre-back in the upcoming off-season as he is believed to have fears Mina is too erratic and error-prone while having doubts over what his best current partnership can be.
Brands could now look to answer Ancelotti’s request by negotiating a swap deal with Napoli for Koulibaly, with the Serie A side entering the race for Mina’s services.
Koulibaly is believed to be interested in a move to the Premier League, which may see the 29-year-old reunite with Ancelotti after one-and-a-half-seasons together at the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium.
If Napoli’s interest in Mina is genuine, Brands will be in a dream scenario to negotiate the transfer of Koulibaly this summer as he can use the unwanted Everton centre-back as a makeweight in landing a lower fee.
The heightened interest in Mina’s services will also help Brands to recoup more of the £27m he paid to Barcelona in 2018 than the Blues’ Director of Football may have previously felt possible. In turn, further driving down the additional funds necessary to sign Koulibaly.
Everton clearly face a challenge in meeting Napoli’s current asking price for Koulibaly – who Ancelotti once described as “the best defender in the world” – without selling Mina, and may struggle to raise the needed funds by letting him join the financially struggling Valencia.
Much will depend on where Mina sits in Gennaro Gattuso’s order of potential replacements, as the Napoli boss may be loath to see Koulibaly’s departure in turn strengthen a rival by his predecessor going on to join Inter Milan or Fiorentina while weakening his own options.
The Diego Armando Maradona Stadium natives may be grateful to be given a free run at Mina and be more open to letting Koulibaly join Everton, thus seeing their former head coach land his supposed top defensive summer target.
So, if the interest is there from Napoli, Brands must seize on the emerging dream scenario to get two deals done at once.