Newcastle and West Ham are both targeting a move for Cameroon international Nicolas Nkoulou, but he could be the perfect man to partner Michael Keane at Everton.
According to L’Equipe, Newcastle and West Ham are battling Sevilla for the capture of Torino centre back Nkoulou.
The report claims the Spanish club have been the first to submit a bid for the defender, having a €10m (around £8.9M) offer rejected this week.
West Ham have already signed two centre backs this summer, so one would have to assume it is Newcastle that are the most likely to seriously challenge Sevilla.
The Magpies have a solid pairing in Jamaal Lascelles and Florian Lejeune, but have virtually no depth at the back behind those two.
Even the staunchest Newcastle fans would also admit there is still a chance they could lose Lascelles, as it wouldn’t be the first time owner Mike Ashley did the total opposite of what his manager and fans want if he cashed in on the Englishman.
Everton should definitely throw their hat in the ring for Nkoulou though, who has played at an elite level for top clubs in France, and was crowned Torino’s player of the year in his first season in Italy.
With rumours intensifying that Everton are set to splash a huge sum to bring Richarlison to the club, reinforcements in other areas may have to be on the cheap. Valued at just £9m by Transfermarkt, hijacking the Nkoulou chase could be a stroke of genius from Marcel Brands.
Capped 72 times by Cameroon despite only turning 28 earlier this year, the 6 ft centre back was one of Serie A’s best performers last season, averaging 1.5 tackles, 1.5 interceptions and over four clearances per game.
He isn’t particularly tall for a centre back, but what he lacks in size he more than makes up for in tenaciousness, and he would be one of the faster centre backs in the Premier League if he joined. The Toffees were desperately missing pace last season, so signing both Richarlison and Nkoulou would fix this issue at both ends of the pitch.
The 28 year-old started his career with Monaco, but his best football came with Marseille, where he made over 200 appearances in five years, scoring five times. His move to rivals Lyon in 2016 didn’t work out, but he has completely revived himself since joining Torino.
Ramiro Funes Mori has left Goodison, Ashley Williams is expected to leave, Phil Jagielka is closer to 40 than 30 and Mason Holgate is still very raw. If Marco Silva wants to get the best of Keane, signing the intelligent, experienced and pacey Nkoulou would be an excellent coup.
So, Everton fans, would you back a move for Nkoulou? Is he good enough? Let us know your thoughts by voting in the poll below…