Everton have a number of areas they want to strengthen in this summer with Football FanCast revealing exclusively on Wednesday that they were in the market for a right midfielder.
However, they also have other areas they will try to strengthen during the upcoming window.
Everton have their eye on defensive recruits with right-back a priority but it’s now thought that they want to sign a centre-back too.
That’s the word of Fabrizio Romano who took to Twitter to reveal the latest on Carlo Ancelotti’s transfer plans.
The transfer guru said: “Everton are planning to sign a centre-back in the summer. Araujo is highly appreciated but Barcelona will *not* sell him. No talks for Demiral, he’s not even a target.”
Ronald Araujo is currently valued at £22.5m via Transfermarkt but with Barca reluctant to let the Uruguayan go, this looks like an expensive and complex deal to complete.
Back in March it was reported that Ancelotti had the desire to bring an elite defender to Goodison Park.
On the surface, Kalidou Kouliably ticked all the boxes. He was potentially going to be involved in a swap deal with Napoli that saw Yerry Mina go the opposite way.
Strong, powerful and devastating in the air, defensive acquisitions won’t come much better than the Senegalese centre-half.
That said, Araujo would be an even more impressive addition to the Everton backline.
Clearly rated very highly by those at Barcelona, he has become a real force for the Catalan giants and actually outmuscles Koulibaly in some of his best areas.
That is a truly phenomenal number but the 6 foot 3 colossus is also dominant in the air. Throughout 2020/21, the Barca centre-back has won 2.2 aerial duels in La Liga. That betters Koulibaly who has only won 1.5 per game in Serie A.
Blessed with raw pace and strength, his ceiling is also particularly high. At the age of 22, he has a lot of potential and could be at the heart of Everton’s backline for a long period of time.
Described as “dominant” by talent scout Jacek Kulig, he’s been earning praise all season long from not only his manager but also his peers.
Speaking about his best qualities, Barca boss Ronald Koeman commented: “He’s physically very strong and has a great future ahead of him. Hopefully he will continue with the number four for many years.”
Fellow defender Gerard Pique added: “Araujo is a great centre-back, and will be for 10 or 15 years. He has everything. He is very young and has a very good head. Also, he is physically strong, fast and powerful, and has good ball control.”
Keep that in mind and he looks like the perfect centre-back. This would be a wonderful signing for Everton, one Ancelotti simply has to get over the line.