According to Italian journalist Nicolo Schira, Everton had scouts in attendance to watch Hellas Verona’s Marush Kumbulla.
Reports in recent weeks have suggested Everton’s Merseyside rivals Liverpool are keeping tabs on the centre-back, and now it appears the Toffees are keen to get in on the act too.
Schira claims that scouts of Inter, Borussia Dortmund and Everton were all present for Verona’s Serie A clash with Udinese on Sunday – a game that ended 0-0, with Kumbulla playing the full 90 minutes.
The journalist further adds the defender’s club side are asking for €30m (£24.9m) to part ways with their player.
Whilst Yerry Mina has been the one constant for Everton at centre-back with 24 Premier League appearances to his name, the likes of Michael Keane and Mason Holgate have been battling each other to be the Colombian’s partner.
Keane has not featured in four out of the last games in the top-flight, but played the full 90 minutes in the win over Crystal Palace last time out. But if Everton want a bona-fide partner for Mina at the back, then they should look no further than Kumbulla.
At 20-years-old, he still has plenty of time to grow and develop, but he is already showing signs of defensive maturity. As per Whoscored, he is averaging an impressive 1.8 tackles and 1.4 interceptions per game in Serie A this season, whilst his pass accuracy is at 84.1%.
Defensive partnerships are built on a combination of individual strengths. Standing at an imposing 6 foot 5, Mina naturally wins his fair share of headers, averaging 4.2 aerial duels won per game this season in the Premier League. What Everton don’t need is another physically dominant centre-back, and instead, someone who can nip in front of attackers and be aggressive.
As a central defensive partnership, the former can look to press the opposition striker as soon as they get the ball into feet, whilst if Mina is going up for a header, Kumbulla’s impressive interception stats make him ideal to simply drop off and sweep up in behind. It has all the hallmarks of being a potentially great duo if Everton decide to act on their scouting mission.