Alex McLeish has urged Everton to back Marcel Brands to deliver something “extra special” in the transfer market amid talks over his future.

The former Premier League manager, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, has admitted the Toffees are still unable to compete with the “big giants” in terms of transfer fees and suggested the Dutchman’s recruitment expertise can give them the advantage without splashing out.

The Athletic report that Brands, whose current deal as director of football is set to expire next summer, is likely to sign a new deal at Goodison Park despite some frustration over several signings made under his stewardship.

While the likes of Lucas Digne have been a success, the former PSV Eindhoven chief has also overseen the arrivals of Moise Kean, Fabian Delph and Alex Iwobi, all of which have struggled for form at Goodison Park.

However, McLeish has insisted Brands is a quality operator in terms of recruitment and suggested he would play a key role in helping the club climb the Premier League table.

McLeish told Football Insider: “Marcel Brands, back in the day I did have one or two conversations with him and when Everton recruit someone like Marcel, then you know that they’re bringing in somebody of a bit of quality.

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“Clearly Marcel knows that the rise of Everton, to the top of the league after five, six games, and then a little bit of a drop, the fact that he’s got them there, he’s helped to get them there, then he knows that it can be done. 

“Everton probably won’t be able to compete with the big giants in terms of recruitment and that’s where he has to be extra special.

“With his knowledge of Europe and especially the Netherlands and Belgium and all the surrounding European countries then, to me, he’s a very good choice because his knowledge is really good.”

In other Everton news, the Toffees have been told to sign an available Tottenham star after major player update.