Everton could land a huge upgrade on Yerry Mina in SSC Napoli defender Nikola Maksimovic, who is reportedly set to leave the Serie A side as a free agent in the summer.
According to journalist Ciro Venerato, while speaking on Radio Kiss Kiss via Napoli Magazine, Ancelotti is still a fan of Maksimovic’s talents and is considering the benefits of a move for the Serbia international with his £36,000-per-week contract due to expire at the end of the season.
Napoli are prepared to lose the 29-year-old for nothing as they are loath to paying what the centre-half feels is an adequate wage for his stature at the Stadio San Paolo, despite being often omitted from the starting line-up since his arrival in 2016.
Maksimovic featured in just eight Serie A fixtures during the 2016/17 season after joining on loan from Torino and enjoyed a Napoli career-high 22 outings last term, but has played just 44 minutes during the current campaign as Gennaro Gattuso persists without him.
Everton were said to have been in the hunt for Maksimovic’s services during the summer window before landing Ben Godfrey from Norwich City, with reports suggesting the Blues had joined AC Milan and AS Roma in courting the centre-half Napoli valued at €20million (£18m).
It remains to be seen if Everton revive their interest next summer with Maksimovic set to become a free agent, a year on from Ancelotti originally considering the 6 ft 3 titan for the Toffees.
While Maksimovic is struggling to feature for Napoli amid his standoff with the Serie A side, the Serbia international would serve as a huge upgrade on Mina should Ancelotti convince Everton to position the club front and centre ahead of the defender becoming a free agent.
Mina had begun the campaign as one of Ancelotti’s first-choice centre-halves alongside Michael Keane, but the Colombian lost his place in the side in parallel with Mason Holgate’s return from a toe injury and again dropped out following a recall at Fulham.
Ancelotti has even stated how he expects Mina to make a mistake when given the chance to play, having been accused of shattering the 26-year-old’s confidence by axing him for last month’s 3-1 loss at home to Manchester United.
“No, I don’t think he was affected by this. It was not a good game,” Ancelotti said, via quotes by the Liverpool Echo. “The character of Yerry is strong, he is a strong character. Unfortunately, sometimes he makes mistakes, as all of the players do. But he is still confident and has no problem to play.”
Maksimovic made just one error that led to a shot in the Serie A last term and gave away one penalty, but registered 1.6 successful tackles, 2.8 clearances, 1.4 interceptions, won 4.2 duels (56%) and lost possession just 5.3 times a game, per SofaScore.
Mina, meanwhile, has already committed one error that led to a goal in the Premier League this season, and registers just 0.6 successful tackles and 3.6 duels won a game – including 2.5 aerial duels won (69%).