Everton may beat Manchester United and Liverpool to the signing of Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly, according to Noel Whelan.
The former Premier League striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, suggested the lure of Carlo Ancelotti could give the Toffees an advantage this summer.
As revealed by Football Insider, Everton have set their sights on the 29-year-old centre-back in their hunt for a world-class centre-back.
Koulibaly played 67 times under the Italian coach at Napoli and only missed games through suspension.
Whelan suggested the Senegal international would be a man in demand among the Premier League elite this summer.
However, he admitted the Ancelotti factor could prove decisive.
Whelan told Football Insider’s Russell Edge: “He has not brought in average players. He has signed really good, experienced, international players.
“Another team that’s looking to progress next year, strengthen again and bring in not just good players but excellent players. That is off the back of the manager, of course. Who doesn’t want to work with Ancelotti?
“Who doesn’t want to go to Everton? A club that’s really pushing forward with plans in place for a new stadium and gathering a good set of players.
“It’s an exciting time for Everton. As an Everton fan, you’re thinking: ‘Wow.’
“You couldn’t have dreamt of going for these sort of players two, three years ago. Look what they’re assembling right now.
“It doesn’t surprise me at all but it wouldn’t surprise me if you’ve got the likes of Liverpool and Manchester United and other teams looking at a player of that calibre either.”