By Danny Wright
Everton are planning a move for AC Milan centre-back Alessio Romagnoli, according to a report.
The Daily Mirror claims that the Merseyside club would have to splash out £25million on the five-times Italian international as Ronald Koeman looks to take his squad closer to competing for a Champions League spot next season.
It is understood that the Dutchman is desperate for a new defender as Phil Jagielka could be set to make a move to the MLS, while there are doubts about the future of Ramiro Funes Mori after a disappointing season for Everton, adding to his long-term injury woes.
Romagnoli’s San Siro contract still has another three years to run before it expires, but the Mirror claims that the wages that Everton can offer the Italian enforcer will be enough to turn his head.
The 22-year-old has been ever-present in the AC Milan side this season, despite suffering with various injury problems, and has recently broken through into the international side.
He’s made 27 appearances across all competitions for the Rossoneri this season and scored his only goal of the campaign in the 2-2 draw with Inter Milan in the bitter derby game last month.
Despite being 22, Romagnoli has bags of top-flight experience and has played over 100 games in Serie A in spells with AC Milan, Roma and Sampdoria.
He moved to the San Siro in 2015 and has since made a total of 67 appearances for his current club.
Football Insider Verdict
It would be massive if Everton can get this deal done because Romagnoli is a huge improvement on what Koeman currently possesses in his defence. The arrival of Ashley Williams at Goodison Park has been hit and miss, while players like Jagielka and Funes Mori cannot be considered anywhere near good enough to take the club to the next level. Signing the Italian would be taking a big stride towards challenging for a top-four spot, but Everton are most likely to suffer if they lose Romelu Lukaku and Ross Barkley in the summer, as the pair are pretty much irreplaceable.
In other Everton news, a BT pundit has delivered his verdict on this ‘frustrating’ 23-year-old.