Danny Mills has tipped “big clubs” to court Everton recruitment chief Marcel Brands as he enters the final seven months of his contract.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley, the former Leeds United and England full-back heaped praise on the team that Brands has built at Goodison Park.

The Athletic report that the club are “relaxed” about the Dutchman’s future and will likely open discussions next year ahead of his deal expiring at the end of the season.

Brands, who also sits on the Everton board, was appointed director of football in May 2018 replacing Steve Walsh.

Last month manager Carlo Ancelotti hailed Brands’ work as “fantastic” and claimed the pair have a great working relationship.

Asked by Football Insider what he makes of the 58-year-old’s work at Goodison Park, Mills said: “I firmly believe now they are starting to get a project going. It takes a while.

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“I know Everton very, very well. I’ve seen things in the academy and that’s encouraging and obviously what they’ve done at first-team level as well.

“They’ve got a new stadium on the horizon too.

“They’re building a team now that can challenge and it’s taken Marcel Brands a while to get that team in place.

“You’ve got the manager that you want in place, in Carlo Ancelotti, who has got funds to spend.

“I’d be surprised if he was to leave at this stage but he may well be courted by some other big clubs.”

Over the summer, Brands oversaw the signings of Niels Nkounkou, Allan, James Rodriguez, Abdoulaye Doucoure and Ben Godfrey.

Allan, Rodriguez and Doucoure have made an instant impact on the first-team and played a key role in the Toffees remaining unbeaten in their first eight games of the season in all competitions.

In other Everton news, Kevin Campbell has been left wowed as a bust-up paves the way for an extraordinary £18m+ January deal.