Moise Kean sealing a return to Juventus to replace Cristiano Ronaldo at the Serie A side this summer can hand Ellis Simms his big break at Everton.
According to Tuttosport, via Sport Witness, Kean is on a shortlist of potential options for Juventus to target at the end of the season amid doubt in Ronaldo’s long-term Bianconeri future.
The Portuguese icon has been linked with a potential return to Real Madrid three years after leaving the La Liga giants for €112m (£99m), and Los Blancos boss Zinedine Zidane refused to deny the chances of a reunion earlier this month.
But Juve CEO Fabio Paratici has dismissed the possibility of Ronaldo moving away from Turin at the close of the campaign, insisting that the 36-year-old remains the future of the Old Lady and will play into the final year of his current €30m-a-season (£500k-p/w) contract.
That has not stopped speculation arising in the Italian media, with Tuttosport suggesting that Kean could be lined up as a replacement for Ronaldo as the striker, currently on loan with Paris Saint-Germain, would be intrigued by a return to the Allianz Stadium.
Kean is also considered to be perfect for the vision that Juventus are attempting to build by helping bring down the average age of Andrea Pirlo’s squad, and could be targeted upon his return to Goodison Park this summer.
PSG are expected to try and retain the £53k-p/w forward in the next transfer window, too, with il Bianco Nero claiming at the start of the month that the Ligue 1 powerhouse will attempt to reach an agreement with the Toffees ‘at all costs’.
That cost could be in the region of €60-70m (£51.5-60m), with Fabrizio Romano stating on the Here We Go podcast last month that Carlo Ancelotti is a “big fan” of Kean and wants him back in royal blue next term, after scoring 15 goals in 27 games for the Parisian outfit.
Whether Ancelotti wants him back or not remains to be seen, but allowing the 21-year-old to call time on his Toffees career after two years could open the door for Simms to make his first-team breakthrough after impressing during his brief time on loan with Blackpool so far.
Simms has scored three goals and provided two assists in nine League One games for the Seasiders since moving to Bloomfield Road in January, and earned the admiration of head coach Neil Critchley after a 3-0 win at Charlton Athletic last month.
“I think that is a good example of Ellis playing to his strengths,” Critchley said. “When he does what he’s good at and he does it continuously, then it shows what a handful he can be. He’s got pace, a physical presence and the attribute of running in behind.
“This is his first loan move playing men’s football and it’s a big step up from Under23s to senior football. He’s adapting, and on Saturday he showed real signs of progression and coping at the level.”
His route to the first-team could clear greatly with Kean joining Juventus or PSG, as Joshua King may also be on the move amid interest from Fenerbahce, leaving Cenk Tosun – should he return from a loan spell with Besiktas – as the only support for Dominic Calvert-Lewin.
It is now up to Simms to prove that he is ready for that role as Blackpool look to edge closer to the League One play-off positions, and show Ancelotti that he can be Everton’s future.
AND in other news, Carlo Ancelotti has set his eyes on bringing a £59m flop to Everton…